NOVE MESTO, Czech Republic (Jan. 11) – World Cup champion Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) sealed her 10th career FIS World Cup victory Saturday, winning the freestyle sprint at Nove Mesto. She edged ahead of Swiss skier Laurien Van Der Graaff in a close final heat. Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) posted the top result for U.S. men in 17th, while Russian Sergey Ustiugov took the win. Athletes will join forces Sunday for classic team sprints.
World Cup champion Kikkan Randall sealed her 10th career FIS World Cup victory Saturday, winning the freestyle sprint at Nove Mesto. (Getty Images/AFP/Michal Cizek)
I was very happy with the way the day unfolded. My qualification round was decent, but I didn't feel totally switched on. Things kicked in around the quarters however and I felt better every round. In the final I was leading up the last climb and put in a surge over the top of the hill. It was pretty loud and there were lots of shadows from the lights so I couldn't tell if the others were right on my tails. I pushed all the way to the line and was really happy to take the victory.
It's great to have so many skate sprints before we go to Sochi. It was definitely hard to sit out of the Tour de Ski this year, but today's race confirms it was the right decision for my Olympic prep. I'm looking forward to a couple more races in the next few weeks to keep sharpening my form.
A lot of credit goes out to my incredible support team. We had fast skis today and special support from Zuzana Rogers (our team PT from Alaska). It always feels good to get a victory for our team that works so hard for us!