VAL DI FIEMME, Italy (Jan. 5) - It's down to just one stage, the final climb up Alpe Cermis, with Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) of the U.S. Ski Team standing seventh behind runaway leader Justyna Kowalczyk. Randall was 11th in Saturday's 10k classic mass start as Kowalczyk padded her lead to over two minutes. Randall remained over three minutes back but within 12 seconds of fourth. The seven stage Tour de Ski concludes Sunday with a gut wrenching climb up the face of Alpe Cermis. Universal Sports TV is providing nightly TV coverage at 7:00 p.m.
Kikkan Randall was 11th in stage six of the Tour de Ski, a 10k classic mass start.
Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk extended her lead to over two minutes. Randall is over three minutes back but within 12 seconds of fourth. She was tenth in last year's Tour.
Liz Stephen (E. Montpelier, VT) was 29th to drop to 22nd while Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) stands 24th in the Tour, Holly Brooks (Anchorage) 35th
Men's tour leader Petter Northug was well off the pace and gave up the lead to Swiss Dario Cologna. Russian Alexey Poltoranin took the win. Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO) was 32nd.
The Tour concludes with a hill climb up Alpe Cermis on Sunday.
Universal Sports TV will provide coverage of the Tour de Ski Saturday and Sunday at 7:00 p.m EST.
QUOTES Kikkan Randall I am actually feeling pretty strong. At this point last year we still had three races to go, so it's a good feeling that there is just one left now. It will be good that the skate muscles have had a couple days off now!
Today's race was solid. My energy was good and I felt like I skied a steady pace the whole race, with good energy still left in the final k's. Skis were kicking great up the climbs but may have been a little slow on the downhills and flats and that took some extra energy to move through the pack.
(Sunday’s climb up Alpe Cermis) I've got some really strong skiers just ahead of me and it will be really important to try and latch on to them before we hit the climb. The final stage hasn't been my strongest in the past but I'm hoping with my stronger skate legs this year, I can improve my stamina in the second half of the climb and fight for some positions deeper into the top ten!
Liz Stephen I am psyched to get another crack at Alpe Cermis tomorrow. Last year I had a good run at it, and I am excited to see if I can have an even better one this year. It is another chase game, look up the hill and go for it. I am going into this thing pumped, stoked, excited, feisty and ready to rip, so let the games begin. Tag, I'm it and I'm after all y'all World Cuppers out there!
2012-13 TOUR DE SKI SCHEDULE LIVE – UniversalSports.com TV – Universal Sports TV All times EST Universal Sports available nationally on DirecTV and Dish Network, along with select cable networks.
Sunday, Jan. 6 – Val di Fiemme, Italy Women: 9k freestyle hill climb, pursuit start (seeded by tour standings) LIVE: 5:45 am Men: 9k freestyle hill climb, pursuit start (seeded by tour standings) LIVE: 8:50 am TV: 7:00 pm Universal Sports