Kikkan Randall takes a victory lap with the American flag after winning the FIS Cross Country Ski World Cup individual sprint in Quebec City on December 8, 2012.
QUEBEC CITY, Q.C.—As a light snow fell, Kikkan Randall made a clean sweep of the World Cup races outside the walls of Old Quebec. Following yesterday’s historic team sprint victory—the first for the U.S.—Randall dominated today’s individual sprint and claimed her sixth World Cup win in the event.
Maiken Caspersen Falla from Norway finished second while Ida Ingemarsdotter from Sweden was third.
Flying twice around the 1.6-kilometer loop of manmade snow in front of Quebec’s Parliament building, Randall was cheered by as many American fans as Canadian.
“The whole atmosphere helped my performance today,” she said. “The crowd was unbelievable to see so many American flags and face paint. To be able to do that victory lap afterwards was something I will definitely remember for the rest of my life.”
Yesterday’s victory in the team sprint also boosted her enthusiasm. Randall looked strong in qualifying, finishing third. Then in the final, she dominated.
“We always felt deep down that if we trained hard enough and wanted it bad enough, we could be on the top of the podium,” she said. “We have many girls working together and pushing together, so I think the real reward for us was to be able to put together really strong performances here when our friends and family get to see us in action—which does not happen very often.”
Watching Randall in the Quebec City races were her mom and dad, brother who came up from New York City, and her husband’s parents, plus many friends and teammates.
The win moves Randall into second overall in the World Cup standings and first in the sprint standings.
Also enjoying the almost-hometown crowd were Vermonters Sophie Caldwell and Andy Newell, who took fifth in the men’s individual sprint. It was his best finish in three seasons.
Caldwell, who made her World Cup debut in Quebec City after finishing well in SuperTour races in the past couple weeks, qualified for the sprint quarterfinals and just missed the finals, finishing 14th (only top 12 move on to the semifinals).
Also making the quarterfinals (top 30 finishers in the qualifier) were Rebecca Rorabaugh, Sadie Bjornsen, and Randall’s team sprint teammate Jessie Diggins. But none of them advanced to the semis.
The Team USA cross-country skiers now travel west to Canmore, Alberta, when World Cup racing resumes on Thursday.
Peggy Shinn is a freelance contributor for TeamUSA.org. This story was not subject to the approval of the United States Olympic Committee or any National Governing Bodies.