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)
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.
Newly crowned World Cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) led the USA on Friday with a fourth-place finish in the final World Cup sprint of the season, which was also the opening event of the three-day Stage World Cup mini-tour in Falun.
Randall received her crystal globe after Friday’s classic sprint finale, commemorating her third-straight World Cup sprint title victory that she clinched last week in Drammen, Norway.
The result put Randall one point behind Heidi Weng of Norway in the World Cup overall standings going into the final two races of the season in Falun.
Sophie Caldwell (Peru, VT) also advanced to the women’s final, where she skied to sixth.
Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) and Ida Sargent (Orleans, VT) qualified for the women’s sprints, finishing 13th and 20th respectively.
Norway’s Marit Bjoergen took the victory for the women and won a 30-second advantage going into the second stage of the mini-tour. Bjoergen’s victory also secured her the third spot in the overall World Cup sprint standings.
Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg of Norway and Stina Nilsson of Sweden took second and third in the women’s final.
Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) was the sole U.S. athlete to qualify for the men’s sprint. He finished eighth, just missing the top-six final.
Teodor Peterson led a Swedish sweep with teammates Emil Joensson and Calle Halfvarsson. Peterson was also awarded the 30-second bonus and leads the mini-tour with Bjoergen.
The weekend’s mini-tour serves as both World Cup finals as well as a test event for the 2015 Falun FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.
The athletes return to competition Saturday for the men’s 15k freestyle/15k classic skiathlon and women’s 7.5k freestyle/7.5k classic skiathlon.
QUOTES Kikkan Randall 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.
Sophie Caldwell 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.