In case you were living under a rock this weekend, here’s what you missed in the world of high-profile international skiing.
La Coupe Du Monde: or, the Kikkan Randall show.
It seems to happen week after week, but in Quebec City Kikkan Randall (USA) raised the bar and met it again. It couldn’t have happened in a more perfect setting; North American spectators turned out in droves to watch her pretty much own the course. On Friday she and Jessie Diggins made history with their team sprint win over Germany and Norway, and the very next day Randall practically toyed with the women’s field in the individual sprint. She’s done a lot, that Randall, but skiing a victory lap with the American flag in front of thousands of screaming fans is something she says she’ll remember for the rest of her life. So will we.
In the men’s races, team Kazakhstan nipped Russia at the line to win its first World Cup team sprint. Sweden’s Emil Jönsson added another individual sprint medal to his resume the next day with a victory over teammate Teodor Peterson and Alexey Petukhov (RUS). American sprinter Andy Newell turned in his best result in three seasons (fifth), while the Canadians were left feeling disappointed with their lack of podium performances in front of the home crowd.
Quebec City was an extra-exciting weekend for up and coming North American skiers. Nation’s group quotas granted the US and Canada a few extra start spots, and athletes seeing World Cup action for the very first time made the most of the opportunity. The American women in particular turned heads on Saturday, with five of them making it into the heats. In her first individual World Cup ever, Sophie Caldwell finished an impressive 14th.
FasterSkier’s on-site coverage:
Silver Star NorAms
It’s hard to imagine, but Quebec wasn’t the absolute center of the universe this weekend. Further west in Silver Star two NorAms got underway, and a handful of Canadian distance specialists got one more tune-up race in before the Canmore World Cups this week. On Saturday, Jens Eriksson (SWE) bested the men’s field by a good 25 seconds in the mass start classic and Canadian Brittany Webster kept on rolling with another victory in the women’s 10 k. The next day brought a pair of wins for Graham and Emily Nishikawa of the Alberta World Cup Academy — things are looking good for the Canadian nation’s group for the Canmore World Cup.
Pre-race thoughts from top Canadians
Biathlon World Cup in Hochfilzen
It was a triple-header weekend in the world of biathlon. In Hochfilzen, Austria, Andreas Birnbacher (GER) and Darya Domracheva (BEL) eked out narrow sprint victories on Friday. In the pursuit the next day, Slovenia’s Jakov Fak earned his first regular-season victory and Synnøve Solemdal (NOR) won her first career World Cup podium. The final event was a relay, in which Norway dominated both the men’s and women’s races.