Kikkan Randall powers through freezing temperatures and a raging blizzard to finish fifth in the Ruka Triple. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Alain Alain Grosclaude)
KUUSAMO, Finland (Dec. 2) - Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) turned in another strong performance Sunday to wrap-up the Ruka Triple 10k classic pursuit behind an untouchable champion Marit Bjoergen of Norway. Liz Stephen (E. Montpelier, VT) was 17th overall in the three day mini tour with Ida Sargent (Orleans, VT) 18th, Holly Brooks (Anchorage) 22nd and Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) 24th.. Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO) had a strong weekend finishing in the points at 26th as Norway's Petter Northug came on to win the men's 15k classic. The FIS World Cup tour now heads to North America for a pair of weekends in Canada.
Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) led the U.S. Ski Team finishing fifth in the three day Ruka Triple mini tour.
In the pursuit start, athletes were seeded based on their mini tour standings. Stephen was 11th fastest in Sunday's 10k to finish 17th overall.
Randall leaves the second weekend in fifth place in the FIS World Cup overall, with five U.S. women in the top 30.
The FIS World Cup now heads to North America for racing in Quebec and Canmore, AB.
QUOTES Kikkan Randall If you had told me two weeks ago that I would be walking away from this weekend with a podium and fifth place overall I might not have believed you. Coming back from the foot injury, I anticipated it was going to take several races to sharpen into race form. So i guess you could say I've ended up racing a little faster than expected.
Really cool to see Liz (Stephen) have such a strong classic race in tough conditions! I've been watching her classic improve and she's just knocking at the door on World Cup top tens! And for the rest of the team, all five in the top 25 is pretty amazing and just speaks to the power of confidence, hard work and momentum.