OTEPAA, Estonia (Jan. 17) - Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) missed out on the semifinal round by an eyelash at the Viessman FIS World Cup sprint in Estonia on Saturday, finishing 13th after qualifying sixth. Sweden's Emil Joensson won on the men's side and Hanna Falk on the women's.
"I wasn't outraced, I was outlunged," Newell said, beaten by Finland's Jesse Vaeaenaenen in a photo finish.
Newell said he felt strong in qualifications and even better in warmups for the final heat, "which is kind of what made it so disappointing," he said.
Tactics played a major role in Newell's quarterfinal heat, slower than the trail blazers before it as skiers tried to ensure they made the top two rather than count on speed to get them through.
"We noticed that the first two heats, especially the first heat, had gone super fast, way faster than anything in qualifications," Newell said.
Newell, who dropped from third to fourth in the FIS Sprint Cup standings, found himself second with a front-row view of the finish before Vaeaenaenen eked past.
"I skied how I wanted to," he said. "I was in position to attack the final stretch."
Newell now gets a trip home to Vermont after 10 weeks on the road in Europe. Now he'll focus on training for the Olympics and a final World Cup sprint in Canmore, AB, on Feb. 6.
2010 Viessman FIS World Cup
Otepaa, Estonia – Jan. 17, 2010
Individual Classic Sprint
1. Emil Joensson, Sweden, 3:16.7
2. Ola Vigen Hattestad, Norway, +0.0 seconds
3. Nikita Kriukov, Russia, +0.2
4. Jesse Vaeaenaenen, Finland, +3.3
5. Alexander Panzhinskiy, Russia, +3.9
DNQ-1/4 Final: Andy Newell, Shaftsbury, VT
1. Hanna Falk, Sweden, 3:06.8
2. Petra Majdic, Slovenia, +0.1 seconds
3. Aino-Kaisa Saarinen, Finland, +0.9
4. Ida Ingemarsdotter, Sweden, +3.9
5. Kirsi Peraelae, Finland, +4.4