FALUN, Sweden (March 20) - Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) took it a step up Saturday in the final weekend of the FIS Cross Country World Cup, which features a multi-stage mini-tour at the traditional Swedish Ski Games, finishing 14th during the 10K pursuit in Falun.
Norway's women had an amazing race day, sweeping the podium with Marit Bjoergen taking the win, Kristen Stoermer Steira in second and Therese Johaug in third.
The day as also a success for Randall, who typically excels at sprint racing.
"It was really good for Kikkan. That's one of her best distance races. She had the sixth fastest skate time of the day for that portion," U.S. Cross Country Coach Chris Grover said.
According to Grover, Randall was able to start behind and slowly make her moves on the other competitors.
"She started out conservatively toward the back of the classic pack and she spent the whole time picking people off," Grover said. "Then she really started picking people in the skate race and ran out of real estate. She couldn't get around the people in the uphill finish."
Norway found more success in the men's race with Petter Northug taking the win. Germany's Tobias Angerer finished second and Lukas Bauer of the Czech Republic was third.
Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) again led the way for U.S. men, finishing 39th.
"Tomorrow should be fun, especially for Kikkan who will be fighting to pull up some more places," Grover said. "I think after today she has the potential to pick off some more people in that race. Even though distance isn't their strong point, it's getting more and more so for Kikkan."
The racing continues in Falun with men's 15K and women's 10K handicap races.
2010 FIS CROSS COUNTRY WORLD CUP
Falun, Sweden - March 20, 2010
Men's 20K Pursuit
1. Petter Northug, Norway, 1:00:03.7
2. Tobias Angerer, Germany, 1:00:05.4
3. Lukas Bauer, Czech Republic, 1:00:05.5
4. Marcus Hellner, Sweden, 1:00:05.6
5. Vincent Vittoz, France, 1:00:06.7
39. Andy Newell, Shaftsbury, VT, 1:02:03.6
48. Brian Gregg, Winthrop, WA, 1:04:46.0
Women's 10K Pursuit
1. Marit Bjoergen, Norway, 31:58.4
2. Kristin Stoermer Steira, Norway, 32:00.9
3. ThereseJohaug, Norway, 32:32.0
4. Riita-Liisa Roponen, Finland, 32:33.9
5. Evi Stehle-Sachenbacher, Germany, 32:43.9
14: Kikkan Randall, Anchorage, 32:50.4