TRONDHEIM, Norway (March 12) - It was a day for the home crowd as Norway swept the men's World Cup podium with Ola Vigen Hattestad winning the classic sprint in Trondheim. Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) took the lead for the U.S. finishing 23rd.
"It was a bit of a rough day," U.S. Cross Country Coach Chris Grover said. "The roughest part was that Torin [Koos; Leavenworth, WA] had bib one. There was a hold between the women's qualifications and the men's competition, and the first three guys out did not qualify because the new snow made the track so slow. Early starters had a real disadvantage."
Newell also dealt with a slower qualification. But it was a slip during the race that kept him from reaching the podium.
"He was skiing fine, but it was one of those days with the weather where we chose to have him race on harries, which are skis with no wax," Grover said. "Andy had fast skis but he missed a couple key kicks up the last hill. He had some big slips and lost momentum. It was definitely a disappointment for him, but there were lots of people in the same boat."
Petra Majdic of Slovenia won the women's classic sprint. Cross country World Championship silver medalist Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) led the way for U.S. women, finishing 30th.
"Kikkan struggles sometimes to get in to the rounds in classic events. For her to make it in was great but she had a really fast quarterfinal and she couldn't make it through," Grover said.
The cross country action continues in Norway Saturday with men's and women's distance races. The U.S. will not compete in the distance races, and instead will head to Stockholm for an upcoming sprint.
"The next race for us is in Stockholm six days from now. It's a classic sprint where we race around the king's castle in old town Stockholm," Grover said.
2009 VIESSMANN CROSS COUNTRY FIS WORLD CUP
Trondheim, Norway - Mar. 12, 2009
1. Ola Vigen Hattestad, Norway
2. Petter Jr. Northug, Norway
3. John Kristian Dahl, Norway
4. Yuichi Onda, Japan
5. Dario Cologna, Switzerland
23. Andy Newell, Shaftsbury, VT
37. Torin Koos, Leavenworth, WA
52. Colin Rodgers, Ketchum, ID
53. Chris Cook, Rhinelander, WA
1. Petra Majdic, Slovenia
2. Alena Prochazkova, Slovakia
3. Justyna Kowalczyk, Poland
4. Anna Olsson, Sweden
5. Aino-Kaisa Saarinen, Finland
30. Kikkan Randall, Anchorage
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For complete results click here.