Final Thoughts from World Cup Finals: Notes & Quotes

BrainspiralMarch 19, 2014

Still craving more of the World Cup? Here are some comments from a few of the U.S. skiers who closed their international-racing seasons at World Cup Finals last Sunday in Falun, Sweden:

Kikkan Randall with her third consecutive Sprint World Cup Crystal Globe. (Photo: Fischer/Nordic Focus)
Kikkan Randall with her third consecutive Sprint World Cup Crystal Globe. (Photo: Fischer/Nordic Focus)

On finishing out the World Cup season:

“The race … was a great opportunity for me. I have had a number of races on the World Cup this season but only one other race has been a distance skate and that came only days after a long slow Birkie and flying across the Atlantic. I felt recovered, adjusted to the time and ready to ski hard. Despite only having a few distance skate races I have stayed positive with every opportunity to race and I feel like I have learned an incredible amount going into this next training season, especially for my classic skiing.” — Caitlin Gregg (Team Gregg/Madshus), 37th in 10 k freestyle pursuit, with the 25th-fastest time

“I felt like my energy was good. I think maybe I have lost a bit of fitness over the last couple of weeks for sure, but it is what it is, I am glad it is over. I’m excited for a training year to revamp, because I need it at the moment.” — Noah Hoffman (U.S. Ski Team), 21st in 15 k freestyle pursuit, with 29th-ranked time

“Starting in the wave with some of the world’s fastest guys, my goal was to go out hard, hang with them, and go like that until I blew up. I wanted to ski as aggressively as possible, which in distance skate races can sometimes be hard for me to do. I did just that. Something about that aggressive mentality switched me into some of the best skating of my life. I felt calm and collected, and like my technique was decent, even while hammering very hard and going pretty fast. I got a split or two saying I was right around 30th for time on day, which would be absolutely insane for me to be in the ballpark of scoring World Cup distance points in a skate race.” — Reese Hanneman (Alaska Pacific University), 37th in final pursuit with 34th-fastest time

Canada's Alex Harvey started first and finished second in the men's 15 k freestyle pursuit at World Cup Finals for a career-best third overall in the World Cup. (Photo: Fischer/Nordic Focus)
Canada’s Alex Harvey (1) started first and finished second in the men’s 15 k freestyle pursuit at World Cup Finals for a career-best third overall in the World Cup. (Photo: Fischer/Nordic Focus)

“10 k skates tend to be the race I dread the most, but [Sunday] wasn’t disastrous and I’m looking at it positively. I can’t say is was my favorite race, but I think I was able to try to follow some really good girls until I blew up and that in itself is an accomplishment for me for a skate distance race. It was really cool to see Liz, Sadie, Kik, Noah, and Alex [Harvey] have great races and that topped the weekend for me. I was beyond happy with how the classic sprint went, so moving forward I didn’t have many expectations and it was cool to see my teammates have some good performances.” — Sophie Caldwell (U.S. Ski Team), 39th in 10 k pursuit, with 37th-ranked time

“When I put my goals down for the season, the biggest goals were on the Olympics and the secondary goals were to fight for the Sprint Cup and I did that. I didn’t really think about [the overall World Cup] too much. … Going into [Sunday], I didn’t want to look at the points too closely because I knew Kerttu [Niskanen of Finland] was in a good position. When I fell I was like, ‘Oh man, I hope this [didn’t cost me] fifth.’ … Given my racing strategy for the season [sixth overall is] a good finish [after training through] the entire Tour — there’s a lot of points available there — and making my training a little more sprint-specific, it took me a while to find my distance skiing again.” — Kikkan Randall (U.S. Ski Team), 13th in 10 k pursuit, with 16th-ranked time

On season highlights:

“The fastest time of the day in Kuusamo and the top-10 finish there, and the second-fastest time in [the Tour de Ski 35 k freestyle pursuit to Austria’s Johannes] Duerr [who was kicked out of the Olympics after testing positive for EPO] so I would call that the fastest time of the day. Doing that twice was encouraging, but I have to get to that level more constantly. … The Olympic results weren’t what I was looking for, but I would say definitely an improvement over last season and a lot more work to do.” — Hoffman 

On what’s next:

“It’s been a long season and I have raced every weekend since mid-November except for two weekends, I have traveled a lot and I have prepared for a variety of different types of races, all in all I am still feeling good and still motivated to race Super Tour Finals in Alaska :)” — Gregg

“It’s been a busy three weeks [since the Olympics … definitely [Saturday] and [Sunday] the legs were pretty tired, but it’s a good feeling to be tired. I know being back home will be an energy boost.” — Randall

“I’m going home for two days before heading to Alaska. I can’t put into words how excited I am to go home for a couple days and I’m also really excited to be united with the SMS T2 team in Alaska!” — Caldwell


World Cup Finals pursuit results: Men | Women

Spring Series: U.S. SuperTour Finals and Distance Nationals, March 22-28 in Anchorage, Alaska


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