U.S. Ski Team athlete Ida Sargent powers her way to 14th in the Canmore World Cup skiathlon - a career best distance finish. (Robert Whitney)
CANMORE, AB (Dec. 16) - The U.S. Ski Team's Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) and Ida Sargent (Orleans, VT) had strong finishes as two weekends of FIS Cross Country World Cup racing in North America ended Sunday with a 15k skiathlon in Canmore. Randall was eighth to remain second in the World Cup overall standings and fifth in distance. Sargent skied to a career best distance finish of 14th. In the skiathlon, racers ski 7.5k classic technique, then head into the pits to change equipment and head back out for 7.5k of freestyle technique. Poland's Justynz Kowalcyk won to extend her World Cup lead. The World Cup takes a holiday break before resuming with the grueling Tour de Ski Dec. 29.
Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) was eighth in the Canmore World Cup skiathlon to wrapup two weekends of racing in North America.
Randall's finish kept her firmly in second in the World Cup overall standings and fifth in distance.
Ida Sargent (Orleans, VT) skied a tactically strong race and, like Randall, had great skis to score a career best distance finish in 14th.
Liz Stephen (E. Montpelier, VT) and Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) sat out the race to continue to rest in preparation for the upcoming Tour de Ski.
In skiathlon, athletes ski 7.5k classic technique then switch gear in the pits and go back out for 7.5k freestyle.
The two weekends of World Cup racing in North America were broadcast live on the USSA Network.
The World Cup takes a short holiday break before resuming with the grueling Tour de Ski Dec. 29 starting in Oberhof, Germany. The Tour includes seven days of racing over nine days at five venues in three nations.
QUOTES Ida Sargent Today I just tried to be patient and try to move up when I could and not freak out because I knew it was going to be a long race. Starting the second classic leg I started to feel really good and I tried to move up and took advantage because I'm a lot stronger classic skier over skate, and I didn't know what would happen in the skate part. My classic leg was good but I tried to still stay a little bit controlled. Then in the skate portion I just tried to stay relaxed and ski with people. Then we kind of had that pack form. I had a lot of practice yesterday with the finishing stretch so I knew I just had to stay relaxed and take the draft and I knew my finish would be good.
I had amazing skis out there - both classic and skate. The techs did a great job.
Kikkan Randall It's a little hard. All of the distance races I feel like I've been in the fight so it's just a little tough. I just kind of refocused and told myself that this was a good hard workout to get ready for the Tour [de Ski]. So I think it's good to just refocus like that.