Kikkan Randall (USA) continued a strong start to the 2011 Tour de Ski, striding to 22nd in the women’s 10km classic handicap start.
Randall, skiing in her first Tour, started in 16th based on her result in Friday’s prologue, and posted the 27th fastest time of the day. The field was extremely tight at the start, and Randall was one of four skiers to start 28 seconds back.
Waxing was difficult, and Randall opted to air on the side of more kick, a decision that she feels may have cost her a little bit.
“Unfortunately my skis weren’t quite as fast on the downhills, but I would gain on the climbs,” she told FasterSkier in an interview.
She started the race in a large group – 20 skiers within ten seconds of the American – but need some time to ski into the race.
“I didn’t feel super good on the first lap, but I felt better once I got in with a good group,” she said.
She skied the second half of the race strong, despite running into traffic throughout the later laps, and described her race as “decent.”
Randall is looking to improve as the Tour progresses, an attainable goal with both sprints still to come, including Sunday’s classic affair in Oberstdorf, on a course that many, including Randall, are familiar with from the 2005 World Championships.