Andy Newell (shown here racing Tour de Ski) skied to his best finish in three years finishing fourth in a classic sprint World Cup in Davos. (Getty Images/Bongarts)
DAVOS, Switzerland (Feb. 18) - Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) skied to his best finish in three seasons finishing fourth in a classic sprint in Davos. It boosted him into second in the World Cup sprint standings. Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) had a strong opening heat but failed to advance out of the semifinals. The Davos World Cup is a final tune-up for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships that open in Val di Fiemme, Italy on Wednesday. Swiss Dario Cologna won men's with Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk taking women's.
Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) had a strong day taking his best finish in three seasons in a classic sprint FIS World Cup in Davos.
Both Newell and Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) were fifth fastest qualifiers. Randall won her opening heat but went out in the semifinals. She retailed her lead in the FIS World Cup sprint standings.
It was Newell's best World Cup finish since finishing third in the Drammen, Norway sprints in March, 2010 and moved him into second in the World Cup sprint standings.
Five Americans qualified into the heats including Newell, Randall and Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO), Holly Brooks (Anchorage) and Ida Sargent (Orleans, VT).
The World Cup is a final tune-up for the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships that open Wednesday in Val di Fiemme, Italy
The event continues Sunday in Davos with a 15k freestyle for men and 10k for women.
QUOTES Andy Newell It's been encouraging to be moving close and closer to the podium as we go into World Championships week. it was frustrating to be so close today but it will definitely motivate me for next weeks sprint in Val de Femme. I was feeling stronger and stronger through the heats today which is what we are trying to work on while peaking for the Championships.
I felt good today but not great. sometimes while tapering training a can get a little bit of a flat feeling. so I'm confident that after a hard race today I'll have more speed to give next week.
It was a good day for me. I always want to be in the final in every sprint and today I was darn close. I was mostly happy with how my body felt today. It's been a couple weeks since we raced and we've been getting ready to peak for World Championships. So I have been very anxious to put my training to the test. I felt really strong in the qualifier and the quarterfinal today. I felt strong in the semifinal also but my skis were a little slick and I wasn't able to keep my momentum up the hill like I had in the previous rounds.
It was a challenging course for sure - a long grind to the top and then a technical descent and then doing it a second time. The course actually skied better than I thought. You get a good rest off the downhill and can recharge enough for the next section. I really liked having the technical downhill in there. I am usually confident on the downhills and it was definitely a favorable element of the course for me today.
I think I got a shout-out from the announcer for taking the turn like Ted Ligety, quite the compliment after this week! It's been a super fun week watching the U.S. Alpine Ski Team compete so well in Schladming and the U.S. Biathlon team recording some historic results in Nove Mesto. The team is super fired up and we can't wait to take our turn over the next couple weeks!
Matt Whitcomb, Cross Country Coach This was the type of day we wanted - our sprinters heading to World Championships with good confidence.
On a course challenging the Sochi men's course in terms of hard climbing and technical descents Newell and Simi proved they are in great form. Andy felt like he had the podium in reach today but got barely gapped by Pelligrino and Cologna over the top of the course.
We had good skis today in finicky and greasy conditions. To do well today the athletes had to be so good on their skis through what i think is the most difficult descent in World Cup classic sprinting.