Top U.S. Cross Country Racers
Face Off at Fort Kent BY PETER Q. GRAVES
By the end of the World Cup Finals in Falun, the international elite racers were tired as they turned to Fort Kent, Maine, to face the best domestic
talent in North America.
On March 27, the Super Tour Finals featured a day in Madawaska, Maine, to
showcase North America’s sprinting talent. Koos and Randall took the wins,
while Newell was in second (by only 0.6) and Simi Hamilton of Aspen was in
third. Canadian Julien Nury followed in fourth.
While Randall won the women’s sprint, she faced an ample challenge from
Sargent, a junior for Dartmouth, who was behind Randall by only 3. 4 seconds. Third place went to Holly Brooks ( 8. 4 back), while Sadie Bjornsen was
The final day of racing in Maine saw the grueling hill climbs at Lonesome
Pines ski area: 5K for women and 7K for the men. The rules are easy: first one
to get to the top wins. Randall started 1: 30 ahead of Dussault in the pursuit
format, but Dussault, this year’s Birkie winner, managed to pick off enough
seconds to take the fastest time of the day. She is the only American woman
to beat Randall this season. Brooke Gosling of Canada was third while Olympian Caitlin Compton was fourth.
For the men, Andy Newell began his race in the driver’s seat with a 1:20-sec-
ond lead over Babikov, who is perhaps one of the world’s most gifted climbers. During the final kilometer, Newell was able to save just enough to beat
Babikov by one second.
“This season has been my most successful yet on the World Cup, so I am really happy with the way things have been going,” said Newell. “Aside from the
Olympic sprint which was a major disappointment for me. It was my worst
race of the season, bottom line. It was really frustrating because I was in the
best shape of my life and skiing as fast as anybody on that course, but I just
wasn’t able to show it. Right now, I am more motivated than ever to take my
skiing to the next level.”