Davos, Switzerland – Kikkan Randall (USA), coming off two of her top World Cup distance races ever, struggled to 65th today. FasterSkier checked in with her following the race.
You did not have a good result today, especially in light of your recent distance performances. What happened?
I think I started a little too slow, loosing too much time in the first 2km. The middle part of the race was decent, Therese Johaug caught me for 30 seconds at about the 3km mark and I was able to ski with her until about 7km. Then however, the wheels feel off and I started loosing a lot of time. I felt okay cruising on the flats and gradual terrain but couldn’t keep a quick tempo on the steeper climbs. With 3km to go, I lost my spark and my body got really heavy and uncoordinated. Then it was a mental struggle to the finish.
My legs have been feeling a little heavy all week. I was hoping it was just nerves but I didn’t have my full zip during the race today. Hopefully this will help gets things going for tomorrow.
Did you find it helpful to be starting toward the back of the field?
Yes and no. I was actually grateful to be caught today by Johaug, she definitely helped me kick into gear. I got a pretty good ride for a few kilometers. If I could have hung with her, it would have made my race a little better. However, it was tough to be amongst the red group skiers when I really started to fall apart. Shevchenko passed me around the 7.5km mark and made me feel like I was standing still.
How are you feeling about tomorrow? Are you confident you will be recovered and ready to go?
I am optimistic about tomorrow. I often race better on the 2nd day so I’m confident that today’s hard effort helped kick start my engine for the sprint. Even here in Davos I’ve had a really good race the next day after a really tough one. So I’m glad to have the opportunity to put today behind me and focus on another race right away.
How hard is it for you to put a poor result behind you and focus on the next race?
I find it much easier to put a poor result behind me when I have another race to focus on the next day. I have plenty of experience coming back strong after a bad race, so I am not dwelling too much on the result today. Seeing all my teammates ski well, Arritola just 11 seconds out of the top 30 and Freeman taking 7th, also helps me put today in the books and get psyched for tomorrow!
Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.