Kikkan Randall led the pack to pick up some points in Saturday’s World Cup skiathalon held in Lahti, Finland. Randall finished in 12th and was joined by fellow teammates Jessie Diggins in 18th and Liz Stephen in 21st.
Randall shared credit for the days strong citing solid work by the team’s tech.
“The classic course was very challenging with big climbs and fast downhills with icy turns. Our techs did an awesome job with the skis. The skate course skied really well with a good mix of climbs, fast descents and also flat working sections. The conditions were super fast and icy which made most of the turns pretty dicey. Staying on your feet and avoiding collisions was definitely key today.”
Randall remains fourth in the overall FIS World Cup standings. Norway’s Therese Johaug took the win in the race with 7.5k legs in both classic and freestyle technique. Dario Cologna won the men’s 15k x 15k.
Randall will seek to defend her 129-point lead over Russian Natalia Matveeva in a classic race Sunday. A fast pace is expected on the 1.4k course which features 49 meters of climb on two separate hills.
Randall described the challenges the upcoming event will bring, saying, “Tomorrow’s sprint features a big climb out of the stadium – almost two minutes worth – some crazy corners and lots of gliding coming into the stadium. So bodies and skis will be important.”
Three sprints remain: Lahti, Drammen and Stockholm (only 50 World Cup points will be awarded in Stockholm as part of mini-tour).