ASIAGO, Italy (Dec. 22) - Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) and Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) teamed up to finish fifth in a FIS World Cup classic technique team sprint Sunday in Asiago. USA 2 with Ida Sargent (Orleans, VT) and Sophie Caldwell (Peru, VT) were eighth. The finish matches the USA best in a classic team sprint set in the Sochi test event last February. Finland took the women's win with Norway victorious for the men. The World Cup takes a short holiday break before resuming with the Tour de Ski Dec. 27-Jan. 5.
Sadie Bjornsen, shown here in Saturday's classic sprint, (Getty Images/AFP)
It was an okay race for us today. Both Sadie and I felt like we were missing our full sprint gear so to still be top five was a decent day. Really cool to have both our women's teams make the final and ski so close all day. As I was once the only woman on the national team, I can say I really appreciate the depth we have now! It was really good to go through a whole team sprint race today with strong competition. We were close to where we want to be and this gives us good motivation and some things to work on before Sochi.
Today was incredibly fun, and great racing for all four of us. Again, it the result was less meaningless than the actual progress we have made as a team. Two team sprints in the running for a medal! I came away from today so happy and excited for our team. It is a great way to kick off the holidays with so much excitement and belief in this team! We are headed in a great direction.
Chris Grover, Head Cross Country Coach
The women's result ties our best ever women's classic team sprint result, fifth in Sochi last season. In Sochi we raced a team of Ida Sargent and Sadie Bjornsen. However, we had a deeper field today in Asiago and we had two teams from Norway ahead of us. This bodes well looking forward to the Games where each nation will only be able to enter one team. And it suggests that on a good day in Sochi, we can be one of the teams in the hunt for a medal. It was very cool to see our second women's team ski so competitively. We're already looking forward to the next classic team sprint in Nove Mesto on Jan. 12.