Sadie Bjornsen, shown here in Saturday's classic sprint, teamed up with Kikkan Randall to finish fifth in the team sprint on Sunday. (Getty Images/AFP)
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.
Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) and Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) led USA 1 to a fifth place finish in the classic team sprint in Asiago. Finland picked up the win.
Ida Sargent (Orleans, VT) and Sophie Caldwell (Peru, VT) paced USA 2 to an eighth place spot.
Finland, Germany and Norway 1 battled the entire race for the podium spots with USA 1 in its own matchup with Norway 2, Russia, Switzerland and USA 2 just back from the podium group.
USA 1 finished 18.48 seconds back from Finland, which had an easy 9-second margin for the win. USA 2 was just two seconds behind USA 1.
Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) and Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO) combined to finish 12th in the men's race behind winning Norway.
After a very short break, the World Cup resumes with the Tour de Ski Dec. 27-Jan. 5. The U.S. Cross Country Championships are set for Utah's Soldier Hollow Jan. 4-11.
QUOTE Kikkan Randall 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.
Now looking forward to a short Christmas break and getting back to some training. Wishing everyone back home a very Merry Christmas!!!
Sadie Bjornsen 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.