Randall Keeps on Rolling; Wins Mini-Tour Finale

Nathaniel HerzMarch 28, 20103
Kikkan Randall on the climb

Since Kikkan Randall began Sunday’s 5 k hill climb with a 1:30 advantage over CXC’s Rebecca Dussault, the biggest question was not who would win. Rather, it was why Randall was racing in the German national team’s suit.

Turns out she traded for it after the Olympics were over. But regardless of the reason, it didn’t get in the way of her skiing, as Randall rolled to another victory in the mini-tour in Fort Kent.

“I had to pull it out just once,” she said of the suit, which she got from Nicole Fessel.

After all the hype about the hill, Randall looked crestfallen that it wasn’t a little longer.

“I thought I would be dying,” she said, “but it felt really good! It felt a little too good.”

She started the climb a half hour after more than 100 men had made their way up, making for tougher going.

“It took me a little bit to find a rhythm,” she said.

Once she did, though, Randall was rolling, and nobody else was able to make up much ground. Dussault did make up a few seconds by the finish, to set the fastest time of the day, but that wasn’t nearly enough.

Like men’s overall winner Andy Newell, Randall said that she had a blast in the mini-tour this week.

The scene on the climb

“I think it’s fantastic—I mean, what a fun way to end the year,” she said. “Lots of different types of races, finish with the hill climb here, the sprints and primes.”

She had high praise for the officials and volunteers here–and they certainly did work for it.

Race organizer Eileen Carey said that she’s been working 16-hour days for the entire month of March, with her club also hosting Junior Olympics two weeks ago. She said her crew was challenged to nail down all the details of the new format, since there aren’t official rules for this type of event, and the three straight days of racing between two different venues was another stress.

She still said it was worth it, though, especially after seeing most of the men’s field head back out on course to watch the women.

“It was totally electric on the hill climb today,” she said. “People were pumped.”

Dussault and Randall had the fastest pair of times on the day, respectively, with Brooke Gosling (Alberta World Cup Academy) in third.

Holly Brooks (APU) was the third woman across the line, after Randall and Dussault, to take the final overall podium position.

Nathaniel Herz

Nat Herz is an Alaska-based journalist who moonlights for FasterSkier as an occasional reporter and podcast host. He was FasterSkier's full-time reporter in 2010 and 2011.

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  • skierout

    March 28, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Congrats Kikkan on a great year of racing. From start to finish, clearly the best the U.S. had to offer.

    I don’t like that she wore the German suit for this race. Unprofessional IMO. If USSA were professional, they would probably fine her or strip prize money. It seems kind of amateur/ JO/ Busch League to me.

    But if you can get away with, I guess that’s cool too.

  • tigerskier

    March 28, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    relax dude …. it’s spring series.

  • Dussaultskis

    March 28, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Interesting that there was hardly a mention that Rebecca Dussault was the hill climb winner for the day and the only female skier to beat Kikkan here in the USA this entire season. Yes, congratulations to Kikkan on an awesome season. Great to see her rise to the top and be competitive on the world level. However please don’t gloss over such results and not give praise where praise is due. The hill climb was also an individual race with a prize for the top climber of the day. Rebecca has had an amazing season herself and deserves credit on the victory today even if she didn’t win the overall mini-tour.

    Sharbel Dussault

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