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Posts Tagged ‘Kikkan Randall’

Johaug Holds onto World Cup Overall with Gritty Skiathlon Win; Bjørgen 33 Seconds Back in 2nd

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

Not today Marit! That’s what Marit Bjørgen‘s Norwegian teammate, Therese Johaug, might very well have been thinking Saturday as she sped away to a sizable victory in the women’s 15-kilometer skiathlon — the penultimate race of World Cup Finals in Falun, Sweden.

After Bjørgen came within three seconds of her at the top of the overall World Cup standings, Johaug had to do one thing on Sunday: win. The bigger the gap, the better. Bjørgen, who won Friday’s classic sprint but finished second to Johaug by 33.6 seconds on Saturday, will have to make up that time gap on her teammate to take the overall World Cup crown.

Johaug continued to gap her competition in the skate portion of the skiathlon, leading Bjørgen by 15 seconds at 9 k, then 23 seconds just over 2 k later. With fewer than three kilometers remaining, Johaug had at least 30 seconds separating her from Bjørgen, and she cruised to the victory in 41:08.9.

Finland’s Kerttu Niskanen placed third, 56.6 seconds behind Johaug, and Norway’s Heidi Weng beat out Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla and another Norwegian Kristin Størmer-Steira to the finish in fourth through sixth, respectively. Sweden’s Emma Wiken was seventh, Russia’s Yulia Tchekaleva and Eva Vrabcova-Nyvltova eighth and ninth, and Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Østberg 10th.

Johaug now leads the overall World Cup by seven points, and 15th in the World Cup Finals mini tour.

Kikkan Randall is the top non-Norwegian in the standings in fifth, behind Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen in third and Weng in fourth. The American placed 20th behind teammate Liz Stephen in 15th.

Sadie Bjornsen finished 21st for the U.S., along with Jessie Diggins in 36th, Ida Sargent in 37th, Caitlin Gregg in 40th, and Sophie Caldwell in 41st.

The lone Canadian at World Cup Finals, Andrea Dupont was 45th.


Bjørgen Takes Fourth Holmenkollen Title by Nearly Two Minutes; Randall 12th, Bjornsen 14th

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Who wins a race by almost two minutes? That would be Marit Bjørgen, Norway’s multiple world champion and Olympic gold medalist, who racked up her fourth Holmenkollen victory in Sunday’s 30-kilometer classic in Oslo, Norway.

Bjørgen gradually broke away from her Norwegian teammate and last year’s 30 k freestyle winner, Therese Johaug, starting around 10 k in. Within six kilometers, Bjørgen was nearly a minute ahead of Johaug, who skied alone in second for the remainder of the race.

A few tried to close, but no one came close, as Bjørgen won by 1:41.2 minutes in 1:20:55.7. Johaug placed second, and Finland’s Kerttu Niskanen finished third, another 44.6 seconds back. Bjørgen now trails Johaug by just 39 points for the overall World Cup lead.

“I knew I had to ski in front to be fighting for bonus points,” Bjørgen told FIS after the race. “If I am to win the overall World Cup I have to be good and faster than Therese next three competitions.”

Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla took fourth (+2:46.6) after skiing with Niskanen from around 20 to 24 k, then dropping about 15 seconds behind. Finland’s Aino-Kaisa Saarinen was fifth (+3:08.9), ahead of another Swede, Emma Wiken in sixth (+3:17.8).

It was nearly 45 seconds to the next finisher, with Eva Vrabcova-Nyvltova of the Czech Republic in seventh, Norway’s Kristin Størmer-Steira in eighth, Sweden’s Sofia Bleckur in ninth, and Finland’s Krista Lahteenmaki in 10th.

Russia’s Yulia Tchekaleva placed 11th and American Kikkan Randall was just 5.8 seconds back in 12th (+4:17.7). Norway’s Heidi Weng placed 13th, and Sadie Bjornsen of the U.S. outsprinted another Norwegian, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg by 0.1 seconds for 14th (+4:27.8).

Also for the U.S., Liz Stephen placed 32nd, Sophie Caldwell was 35th, Caitlin Gregg finished 39th, and Ida Sargent was 42nd. Canada’s lone woman entered in the 30 k, Andrea Dupont did not start. American Jennie Bender also did not start.


Gracious Norwegians Allow Other Nations a Bronze Medal in Drammen Sprints, Sweep Silver and Gold

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Still riding high from her Olympic gold medal, Norway’s Maiken Falla claimed her first classic sprint victory in the Drammen sprints, barely edging her teammate, Marit Bjørgen, while Sweden’s Stina Nilsson battled her way into third.

In the men’s race the Norwegians also proved untouchable, with Ola Vigen Hattestad‘s longer legs allowing him the kick needed to get his toe across the line barely ahead of teammate Pål Golberg. In third place was Italy’s Maicol Rastelli, after being given a new lease on life when a mid-race crash took Swedish contender Emil Jönsson and Finn Matias Strandvall out of the podium contention.

Alaskan World Cup sprint leader Kikkan Randall finished in 7th place after just missing the finals, but it was still good enough to wrap up her third-straight Sprint Cup title. Randall started toward the back of her semi-final heat, but powerful double-poling brought her into second place in the final stretch. However, the mad dash of high-tempo striding to the finish line proved too much, and Randall was edged by “less than a toenail” in a photo finish with Nilsson, leaving her in third place and missing her chance to advance to the finals.

Peri Jones was the top Canadian woman, finishing 24th, followed by a deep field of American women with Sadie Bjornsen in 30th, Ida Sargent in 35th, Sophie Caldwell in 37th, Holly Brooks in 48th and Jennie Bender, competing in just her second World Cup after last weekend’s races in Lahti, Finland, finished 51st. Canadian Andrea DuPont was 58th.

Canadian Alex Harvey was the top North American man, finishing in 24th after advancing to the semi-finals but finishing fifth in a closely contested heat. Teammates Len Valjas and Devon Kershaw were 35th and 54th, respectively. American Andy Newell was 25th, bringing in the top finish for American men, followed by teammates Simi Hamilton in 32nd, Erik Bjornsen in 51st, and World Cup newcomers Reese Hanneman and Sylvan Ellefson in 61st and 69th, respectively.

Results: Men | Women

Nobody Comes Close to Beating Bjørgen in Lahti 10 k Skate

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

After racking up three gold medals at the Sochi Olympics last month, Norway’s Marit Bjørgen rose to the top of the podium in the first distance race back on the World Cup on Sunday in Lahti, Finland.

One of the later starters out of more than 80 women in the 10-kilometer freestyle individual start, Bjørgen worked into the race, taking the lead after the 6.3 k checkpoint and finishing 26.9 seconds ahead of runner-up Charlotte Kalla of Sweden.

Bjørgen won in 25:05.3, and another Norwegian, Therese Johaug finished 0.7 seconds after Kalla in third. Fourth in the freestyle sprint at the Olympics, Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen placed fourth on Sunday (+30.1), and the fourth Norwegian in the top five, Heidi Weng was fifth (+34.9).

An early leader, Riitta-Liisa Roponen of Finland placed sixth (+51.0), and her teammate, Kerttu Niskanen was seventh. Sweden’s Emma Wiken finished eighth, Finland’s Kaisa Makarainen was ninth, and France’s Coraline Hugue was 10th.

Kikkan Randall was the top American in 21st (+1:36.3). Liz Stephen finished 32nd (+1:53.7), Holly Brooks was 44th, and Caitlin Gregg 46th.

Alysson Marshall placed 62nd for Canada, and her Alberta World Cup Academy teammate was right behind in 63rd. Cendrine Browne was 68th, and Andrea Dupont 71st.


Randall Wins Lahti Sprint, Caldwell Third

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Saturday was a historic day for the American women as the first post-Olympic World Cup took place in Lahti, Finland. After qualifying 11th, Kikkan Randall skied her way to another World Cup victory in the 1.5 k freestyle sprint. The win moves Randall to first in the World Cup sprint rankings, just under 40 points ahead of Germany’s Denise Hermann who failed to advance out of the quarterfinals in Saturday’s race.

Randall wasn’t the only American to turn heads. Sophie Caldwell made her first World Cup podium, finishing third. The up-and-coming skier finished sixth in the same event at the Sochi Olympics, the best result an American woman has ever obtained.

The result marks the first time two American women have been on a World Cup podium together.

Slovenian Katja Visnar joined the American’s on the podium, placing second. The final was missing some big names, such as Norway’s Ingvlid Flugstad Østberg who finished first in the qualification round but fell over Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla in semifinals.

Women’s 1.5 k freestyle sprint results

Østberg Opens Lahti World Cup with Qualifying Win; Randall, Caldwell Advance

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Exactly a week after the last women’s race at the Olympics, the skiers jumped back into the World Cup on Saturday in Lahti, Finland, where Ingvild Flugstad Østberg of Norway nipped Slovenia’s Katja Visnar by sixth-hundredths of a second in the women’s 1.55-kilometer freestyle sprint qualifier.

Marit Bjørgen qualified third for Norway, 0.14 seconds behind Østberg’s winning time of 2:53.89. Another Slovenian, Vesna Fabjan advanced in fourth (+0.43), and Sweden’s Jennie Oeberg had the fifth-fastest time (+0.8).

Kikkan Randall qualified 11th for the U.S., and her teammate Sophie Caldwell made the cut in 25th.

No Canadian women made the top 30 to advance to the heats, with Perianne Jones in 34th, Alysson Marshall in 46th, Heidi Widmer in 47th, Andrea Dupont in 59th, and Cendrine Browne in 71st.

Also for the U.S., Ida Sargent was 44th, Jennie Bender 58th, Holly Brooks 66th, Caitlin Gregg 68th, and Liz Stephen 75th.


Norway Reigns Supreme in Toblach Skate Sprints: Bjørgen, Hattestad Win

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Team Norge couldn’t have given itself a better Olympic sendoff, with Marit Bjørgen capturing her second win of the weekend at the Toblach World Cup, then Ola Vigen Hattestad capping it off with a victory in the men’s freestyle sprint — the last race before the 2014 Winter Games start Saturday in Sochi, Russia.

In the women’s 1.3-kilometer final on Sunday, Norway’s Maiken Caspersen Falla and American Kikkan Randall led most of it, while Bjørgen sat contently in the pack — until the final descent into the stadium. There she out-glided and outlasted the field, holding off Germany’s Denise Herrmann, who also came from behind to take second. Bjørgen won it by 0.42 seconds in 2:59.8, leading three Norwegians in the top four with Ingvild Flugstad Østberg in third (+1.45) and Falla in fourth (+2.12). Randall slipped toward the back of the pack after the last downhill to place fifth (+2.65). Slovenia’s Katja Visnar finished sixth (+3.00).

Hattestad won the men’s 1.3 k final by 0.69 seconds in 2:44.89, leading three Norwegians in the top four. Eirik Brandsdal placed second and Pal Golberg finished fourth after Germany’s Josef Wenzl in third. Golberg edged Sweden’s Teodor Peterson in a photo finish, and Switzerland’s Jovian Hediger took sixth after crashing early in the final.

Randall was the lone North American to make the finals, after qualifying in fourth. Three of her teammates also qualified in the top 30, with Sophie Caldwell in 19th, Jessie Diggins in 21st and Holly Brooks in 27th. They did not advance past the quarters, finishing 19th, 28th, and 29th, respectively.

Also for the U.S., Ida Sargent was just outside qualifying in 33rd, Sadie Bjornsen place 37th and Caitlin Gregg was 41st.

For Canada, Perianne Jones qualified 28th and Dasha Gaiazova advanced in 30th. Both did not advance to the semifinals, with Gaiazova finishing 25th overall and Jones placing 30th. Chandra Crawford narrowly missed the top 30 in 34th and Heidi Widmer was 38th in the qualifier.

In the men’s race, Americans Andy Newell qualified in eighth and Simi Hamilton made the heats in ninth. Hamilton ended up third in his quarterfinal and Newell was fourth in his heat in a photo finish; neither advanced and placed 14th and 17th, respectively. Alex Harvey was Canada’s lone man in the heats, placing fourth behind Hamilton in the quarterfinal for 20th overall.

Outside of qualifying, American Torin Koos was 35th and Canada’s Jesse Cockney placed 47th, Devon Kershaw was 60th and Lenny Valjas 64th in his first World Cup race since leaving the Tour de Ski in late December to rehab his knee at home.

Results: Men | Women

Kowalczyk Dusts Women’s 10 k Classic on Her Birthday at Home; Stephen Sixth

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

A heavy favorite for the women’s 10-kilometer classic mass start in Szklarska Poręba, Poland, Justyna Kowalczyk lived up to her home-crowd’s delight on Sunday, dropping the field soundly by the halfway point and striding to a 41.8-second win.

On her 31st birthday, Kowalczyk finished without anyone in sight in 34:34.2, and waited at the finish to congratulate Russian runner-up Yulia Tchekaleva. Another Russian, Julia Ivanova rounded out the podium in third, 1:15.2 minutes behind, after outsprinting Germany’s Denise Herrmann by four seconds. After Herrmann in fourth, Germany’s Claudia Nystad took fifth, 5.2 seconds ahead of American Liz Stephen in sixth (+1:26.4). For Stephen, it was a career best in an outright World Cup (not including stages).

Germany had three in the top seven with Stefanie Boehler (+1:28.4), who finished ahead of Russia’s Natalia Zhukova in eighth (+1:47.8). Ida Sargent of the U.S. placed ninth (+1:49.3) for her best result of the season, and Austria’s Katerina Smutna was 10th.

Also for the U.S., Kikkan Randall tallied 14th a day after winning her second-straight World Cup skate sprint, Sophie Caldwell was 16th, and Jessie Diggins 24th. Caitlin Gregg (Team Gregg/Madshus) did not finish.



Randall on a Hot Streak, Wins 2nd Straight Skate Sprint in Poland

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Kikkan Randall (U.S. Ski Team) reiterated that she’s in top form three weeks out from the Olympics, qualifying in 10th then winning each of her heats on Saturday at the World Cup 1.5-kilometer freestyle sprint in Szklarska Poręba, Poland.

Putting herself in prime position coming into a flat-and-fast finish, Randall outsprinted Germany’s Denise Herrmann for the victory in 3:06.89, her second-straight sprint win since dominating last weekend’s freestyle final in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.

“Today took a lot more strategy,” Randall said in a post-race interview with her husband and FIS media coordinator Jeff Ellis. “With the draft out there and fast conditions, fast finish you really had to be confident on your feet out there.”

Randall edged Herrmann by 0.25 seconds for the win and Slovenia’s Vesna Fabjan placed third, 1.10 seconds back. Another American in the final, Jessie Diggins followed Randall toward the finish before getting caught up on a corner with Switzerland’s Laurien Van der Graaff. The two went down, Poland’s Sylwia Jaskowiec used the home fans to fuel her to fourth, 1.42 behind Randall, and Diggins got up to finish fifth (+6.99). Van der Graaff came across the line nearly 20 seconds later in sixth.

Earlier in the afternoon, Jaskowiec qualified in second behind Italy’s Greta Laurent, who won the qualifier in 3:08.69 but placed fifth in her quarterfinal. Herrmann qualified third and Sophie Caldwell of the U.S. advanced in fourth.

Caldwell ended up seventh after winning her quarterfinal and placing third in her semifinal.

Perianne Jones led Canada with a season-best 10th after qualifying in 30th, and teammate Dasha Gaiazova placed 23rd after qualifying in 26th and placing fifth in her quarterfinal.

American Ida Sargent qualified 15th and ended up 13th, after placing third in her quarterfinal, and Liz Stephen tallied a career-best sprint result of 15th after qualifying in 22nd and edging Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk for third in the quarterfinals. The sixth American woman, Caitlin Gregg (Team Gregg/Madshus) narrowly missed qualifying in 33rd.

Final results | Qualifier

Finland’s Saarinen, Kyllönen Dominate Classic Team Sprint; U.S. Fifth and Eighth

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

On another muggy morning in Asiago, Italy, Finland’s women showed they have no problem keeping pace on slow snow as Aino-Kaisa Saarinen and Anne Kyllönen routed the 10-team final with a 10-second victory.

Neck and neck with Finland for most of the race, Norway I fell four seconds behind on the second-to-last lap of the 6 x 1.25-kilometer classic team sprint, with Ingvlid Flugstad Østberg tagging Maiken Caspersen Falla in second and Falla falling another six seconds back on the final lap.

The Norwegians settled for second, 9.68 seconds off Finland’s winning time of 19:15.72, after barely holding off Germany’s Katrin Zeller and Denise Herrmann, who finished 0.34 seconds later in third.

Norway II took fourth with Kari Gjeitnes and Celine Brun-Lie (+11.53) and the Americans placed fifth (+18.48) with Sadie Bjornsen and Kikkan Randall. Bjornsen brought the team as high as fourth into the last exchange, but they were still more than 2 seconds behind Norway II in third and 12 seconds out of first.

USA II’s Ida Sargent and Sophie Caldwell finished eighth (+20.56) in the final, and Caldwell posted the third-fastest course time on her first lap.

Canada placed 16th overall after Perianne Jones and Dasha Gaiazova placed eighth in the second semifinal.