DUSSELDORF, Germany (Dec. 5) - Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) marked another World Cup top-10 finish Saturday as he claimed seventh place during a freestyle sprint in Germany. Russia's Alexy Petukhov won.
"It kind of sucks because, again I missed the final. I think I was close in both classic and skate . But I feel like I can do it in both disciplines so I guess that's a good sign," said Newell, who finished seventh in a classic sprint in Finland a week ago.
Norway's Anders Gloeersen finished the race second, followed by fellow countryman Eirik Brandsdal in third.
According to Newell, the fast course took all of his fitness with no downhill areas to rest.
"This course is always really fast. It's flat, but that actually makes it pretty hard because there is no downhill to rest or anything. You definitely have to be really fit to ski this course fast, so the heats were fast and tough," Newell said. "I gave it in my first heat and won that and easily advanced to the semifinal. Unfortunately, I crossed the line in seventh in my semi final just a second or two outside the lucky loser position to go into the final."
But, despite disappointment in not making the final run, Newell is happy with his strength and where his racing is going.
"My fitness is in a good place and we need to focus more on the speed and the finishing speed, which is what will help us make it into the final the next time around," Newell said. "I think this is the best I have ever done in Dusseldorf, can't complain there. Every course is different and every print is different so we are just going to take it one race at a time."
In the women's race, Hanna Falk of Sweden won, followed in second by Russia's Natalia Korosteleva and Vesna Fabjan of Slovenia in third.
Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK) was set to take it past the quarterfinal when a mashup with another racer took her out, putting her in 28th.
"I think she had a bit of bad luck in her quarterfinal. She had a great start out of the gate, skied maybe 20 meters, and then got tangled with another skier and crashed," Cross Country Coach Chris Grover said. "For women this is a 900 meter sprint, so if you crash, you're out. She stood up and fought hard to get back into it, but her quarterfinal field was really strong with a lot of fast ladies, and there was no chance for her to reconnect."
But, according to Grover, Randall's speed is coming along for where she needs to be this season.
"Kikkan was moving a little quicker in qualification today and she skied pretty well in that. She still has a little ways to go, but I think the sprint speed is coming right now," Grover said.
The U.S. Cross Country Team races again in Germany on Sunday in a team sprint before moving on to Davos, Switzerland.
2010 Viessmann FIS Cross Country World Cup
Dusseldorf, Germany - Dec. 5, 2009
1. Alexey Petukhov, Russia
2. Anders Gloeersen, Norway
3. Eirik Brandsdal, Norway
4. John Kristian Dahl, Norway
5. Olga Vigen Hattestad, Norway
7. Andy Newell, Shaftsbury, VT
55. Torin Koos, Leavenworth, WA
1. Hanna Falk, Sweden
2. Natalia Korosteleva, Russia
3. Vesna Fabjan, Slovenia
4. Ida Ingemarsdotter, Sweden
5. Celine Brun-Lie, Norway
28. Kikkan Randall, Anchorage, AK