STOCKHOLM, Sweden (March 14) - Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) wrapped up an historic FIS World Cup title season in Stockholm's historic old city finishing eighth in the classic sprint finale. Teammate Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) matched his season best seventh. Randall's title was the first for an American since Bill Koch won in 1982. Norway's Marit Bjoergen won the opener of a mini-tour to boost her lead over Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk while Norway's Erik Brandsdal won for the men. Action continues Friday in Falun, Sweden.
The semi final didn't go quite as well as I would have liked. I felt like I had the energy to be competitive on that stretch but I just can struggle technically in these conditions so I just spun the wheels a little bit there and was too late. Overall I'm pretty happy on the performance today. I'm still feeling strong. Eighth is my best finish here in Stockholm, so it's still a success.
It's just incredible that this season has come to a close. It's great to be here in Stockholm and taking the globe home on Sunday.
I think Stockholm is one of the coolest races we do. You're down by the water and skiing on the palace steps. There's lots of cheering out there and it's a fast race – two-and-a-half minutes – so it's pretty fun and it's a great way to end the sprint season.
I tried to relax across the back stretch and save my energy for the last hill and that worked great. I did exactly what I wanted to do, but I think if I had like two more meters I would have caught [Nikolay] Morilov. I was gaining on him.
Having to change lanes midway up the hill was an issue. That's a risk you have to take coming in fourth place to the hill. You may not get an open lane, but I was lucky that the lane was open and that I was able to switch to it. I would have really liked to have been in the final. I'm feeling good today.
In sprint racing you have to make tons of adjustments, especially in a city sprint like this. You have to always be changing your tactics and game plan depending on who's in your heat.