USA Invades Canada,Wins Quebec World Cup Women’s Team Sprint

With Jessie Diggins handing off to her in first place, Kikkan Randall led her final leg wire to wire to win the women’s team sprint at the Quebec World Cup.  USA 1 finished ahead of Germany in second place and Norway 2 in third.

A fall didn’t stop Diggins.  Despite getting spun around on her second leg, she kept her composure and kept the USA in the game.  After the handoff, Randall moved steadily up from seventh to third to second.  Handing off second place to Diggins for her last leg.  The situation was fluid with numerous athletes fighting for lead.  But Diggins wasn’t taking no for an answer.  Quicker than you can blink, Diggins moved to the front, tagging off to Randall in first.  Holding off challengers, Randall crossed the finish line nine-tenths of a second ahead of Germany.  Norway 1 was a binding-length behind in third.  USA 2 – Ida Sargent and Holly Brooks – were ninth.

Viewing the race from a screen rather than live perhaps gave the advantage of being able to see most of the course.  Under a cloudy sky, the serpentine course turned back and forth on itself in the middle of the city of Quebec.  More like a cyclocross loop than a ski loop, it afforded great viewing for spectators.  It even featured a small ledge that skiers jumped off.

Kicking up rooster tails of snow in a hammering finish, the men’s final ended was carnage as Kazakhtan and Russia both lunged for the win and collapsed across the line.  Kazakhstan took the win by a tenth of a second.  Norway 1 and 2 came third and fourth.  Only 1.4 seconds separated the first four finishers, with spent skiers sprawled on the ground in the finish zone.

Canada 1, with Devon Kershaw and Alex Harvey, had a strong start in the men’s relay, with Kershaw leading at one point.  But Harvey tangled with a Swedish skier and fell, falling back to seventh place.  There was more contact in general in the men’s final.  Although they made up ground, Canada 1 finished in fifth.  Andy Newell and Simi Hamilton finished in 12th place.