Sprint skier Kikkan Randall had another promising showing as she finished 21st in a 30k classic race at Holmenkollen Sunday. Skiing in as high as 13th position with a group just behind the leaders, Randall fought the long distance race under warm weather conditions to the end. Teammate Liz Stephen was close behind in 24th. Hometown hero Marit Bjoergen of Norway skied a dominating race in front of thousands of cheering fans to take the win.
“Overall, I think it got a little slow in some places but the conditions were actually pretty good. I had a really good middle part of the race. I felt strong and I switched to a new pair of skis and was feeling good cruising up the hills. Then I switched skis on the last lap and I didn’t have quite as much kick and I was getting a little tired and cramping started to set in. But I fought hard to the end and I’m glad I put in a really hard effort”, said Randall.
Randall has already clinched the sprint World Cup title and will receive the crystal globe on Wed. in Stockholm. The result on Sunday keeps Randall in fourth position in the overall World Cup title hunt.
Liz Stephen finished behind Randall in 24th with teammates Sadie Bjornsen in 40th, Jessie Diggins in 45th and Ida Sargent 51st.
Chris Grover, Cross Country Head Coach spoke to the team’s improvements, “It’s been a huge goal for Kikkan to compete for the overall and she’s done it all season. Not only has she been wearing that red sprint leaders bib all season, but she’s been in fourth/fifth in the overall all season. It’s going to be quite a battle for fourth place between her and Charlotte Kalla. Just to be fighting for fourth place in the overall at the end of the season is an incredible achievement. She was 10th last season, so this is quite a step forward.”
The FIS Cross Country World Cup wraps up this week with a finals mini-tour in Stockholm and Falun, Sweden.