FALUN, Sweden (March 14) – Newly crowned World Cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) led the USA on Friday with a fourth-place finish in the classic sprint, the final World Cup sprint of the season as well as the opening of the three-day Stage World Cup mini-tour finale in Falun. Sophie Caldwell (Peru, VT) skied to sixth in the women’s final, while Norway’s Marit Bjoergen took the victory. Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) advanced to the semis in the men’s sprint, finishing eighth and narrowly missing the final where Teodor Peterson led a Swedish sweep. The athletes are set to take on the men’s and women’s skiathlon Saturday.
Three-time World Cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall received her globe after a fourth-place finish in Friday’s classic sprint, the final sprint of the season as well as the opening event of the three-day Stage World Cup mini-tour finale in Falun. (Getty Images/AFP/Jonathan Nackstrand)
It was really fun to be back in the final with Sophie! It was a really good feeling to see two American flags on the scoreboard as we headed to the start. Once in the final, anything can happen!
It was also really fun to test out the brand new sprint course here in Falun, which will be used for the World Championships next year. The course was in great shape, the tracks stayed firm from the salt and the snow really held up through the day. My skis were excellent again today, solid grip on the hills and some of the better glide in the second half of the course.
We received the sprint globes today and it's still a very special feeling to feel the weight of that crystal in your hand. A bunch of my teammates and all the staff were out there to celebrate the ceremony with me. The support I feel from everyone has made every globe so special. The U.S. program is definitely coming up and I am confident that there are many more globes possible for this team.
Unfortunately Sadie, Kikkan, and I were in the same quarterfinals and that's always tough because only two people move on. We were hoping to have a fast heat and be the top three so one of us could be lucky loser. We accomplished being the top three in our heat, but it wasn't quite fast enough to get the lucky loser spot so Sadie didn't advance.
Today was the first time I had ever made it past the quarter finals in a classic sprint, so I was thrilled with how the day turned out. Of course, it makes it even better to be in the final with your teammate and it was extra cool to watch Kikkan receive her third consecutive crystal globe right after our race.