Randall Sprints to First U.S. Women's Podium

FasterSkierJanuary 21, 2007

RYBINSK, Russia (Jan. 21) – Kikkan Randall made history today, capturing the first US Women’s World Cup Podium in Rybinsk, Russia in a 1.2 km Freestyle sprint race, finishing in 3rd place.

Conditions were hard and fast on the Russian course, which made for very tight racing. Each heat was closely contested, with tactics and fast skis playing a major role.

“I just felt great today, my body was awesome and my skis were very fast”, said Kikkan in a post race interview. “I did not go out with a set race plan today; I tried to figure out the course as I went through the rounds. The course had a downhill about 400 meters from the finish, so in each round, I was able to sling shot around people. It was important to use smart race tactics and have great skis.”

“I knew that I could do this, it was just a matter of when it was going to happen,” Kikkan said on the team’s bus ride back to Moscow. “I was really close to 2nd today, so I am looking for good things to come in the future.”

Randall’s 3rd place today has vaulted her into 10th place in the World Cup Sprint rankings and 28th in the overall World Cup Points, with the season roughly half over. USST head coach Pete Vordenberg remarked, “It was a great day today for Kikkan and the rest of the sprinters, we are very excited as I feel that the season is just getting started for us.”

Vordenberg was a one man coaching staff in Russia, with head wax tech Roar Lillefjell stuck in the Stockholm airport because of visa complications. “Pete just did an awesome job today,” Kikkan said, “He really held everything together.”

The next scheduled stop for the USST is in Otepaeae, Estonia for a distance classic race and classic sprint race Jan 27th and 28th. Congratulations to Kikkan and the entire USST for a great day of racing.

Source: Chris Hall, Fischer Nordic Service Director

More from the US Ski Team…

Two-time Olympian Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK) earned a historic first World Cup podium by a U.S. woman Sunday, taking third place in a photo finish 1.2K freestyle sprint. Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) was 10th in the men's sprint with Torin Koos (Leavenworth, WA) 19th.

Randall, who set U.S. marks for women's Olympic and World Cup cross country results last season, qualified ninth, was second in her quarterfinal heat, led her semifinal heat and lost the photo finish to Germany's Claudia Kuenzel-Nystad, who is married to former U.S. Coach Trond Nystad. The podium tops her fifth-place result in Borlaenge, Sweden and her ninth place finish in the FR (skate) sprint at the 2006 Olympics

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