US Ski Teams Kikkan Randall Fights her Way Back to 4th in the Tour De Ski

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 4, 2012 4:28 pm

Having dropped to seventh in the Tour de Ski just a day earlier, U.S. Ski Team member Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) fought her way back to second in the stage six freestyle sprint at the tour de Ski in the northern Italy village of Toblach. With this epic second place finish, Randall has moved from seventh to fourth in the Tour de Ski, after a brief challenge from Norweigan Heidi Wang in the quarterfinals, and did it in style with 1.9 second win.

“My strategy in the semifinal was to try to sit back to save energy and put on a strong finish. It was a little risky being back in the pack but I stayed calm and felt confident in my final stretch and it worked out”, said Randall of her finish.

Randall had survived a high traffic semifinals to square off against Tour leaders Justyna Kowalczyk and Marit Bjoergen, finishing behind Bjoergen and returning back to fourth overall.


“In the final I hoped that Bjoergen and Kowalczyk would make a big move. When they did I was in a good position to go with them. Unfortunately I couldn’t get past Kowalczyk before the final hill and had to go around, and missed getting in Bjoergen’s draft. Her skis were running well and I was unable to bridge back up.”

Randall is now 1:18 behind Norway’s Therese Johaug for third and has a 28 second margin over fifth place Charlotte Kalla of Sweden. She has said however, that, “Overall I’m very satisfied with today’s race. It was a challenging course and with five races in my legs already, I was happy to put together four solid rounds and be on the podium.”

Despite Randall’s success, Holly Brooks (Anchorage) qualified for the heats in 28th but went out in the quarterfinal heat won by Randall. And sadly, Kris Freeman (Andover, NH) and Liz Stephen (E. Montpelier, VT) did not qualify for heats. However, theres more races in order, and we can all root for Kikkan to Kick  some A** out there.