Kikkan Randall, the FIS World Cup sprint leader from Anchorage, Alaska zipped through the streets of beautiful Milan to take second in the World Cup freestyle sprint.
“It was a fantastic atmosphere out there today and it was fun to race here in Milan”, said Randall.
Kikkan Randall won both of the quarters and semis, but was overtaken during the last moments of the final sprint by Sweden’s Ida Ingemarsdotter.
Randall explains, “I didn’t know that she (Ingemarsdotter) was the one coming up beside me until we were on the finish straight. I hesitated for a moment in making my final lane choice and I think taking the inside lane that had been skied in more may not have been the right choice.”
Matt Whitcomb, the US Sprint Team coach spoke of the final run, “In the finals, Kikkan came into the stadium with a narrow lead but she got back for a split second and made a few compromised pushes just as Ingemarsdotter was coming on. It was close.”
The Swede achieved her first career win, and Randall was still able to further extend her points lead. After today’s event, she has extended her lead to 124 points ahead of Russia’s Natalia Matveeva. Jessie Diggins, who swept four U.S. titles last week, came from behind with a strong finish sprint to take fourth and her first World Cup points.
The team sprint event is slated for Sunday in Milan, with Randall and Diggins set to team up.
“I’m really excited about the team sprint tomorrow. I have three teammates here and we will have two U.S. teams, which has not happened in quite some time”, said Randall.