Randall part of large Alaska contingent at World Cup series

Anchorage's Kikkan Randall is racing just two time zones away from her hometown this week, and fans can catch the action live online.

The USSA Network, available at www.usskiteam.com, will provide live coverage of three straight days of World Cup cross country-skiing in Canmore, Alberta. The races are the last World Cup events that will be held in North America this season.

Randall, a three-time Olympian who ranks second in the world, will lead a contingency of about two dozen American skiers at the venue that hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics. She is No. 1 in the World Cup sprint standings and No. 3 in the distance standings, which puts her second behind the great Marit Bjoergen of Norway in the overall standings.

Competition begins Thursday with mass-start classic races, with online coverage beginning at 9 a.m. AST.

Seven other Alaskans will also race Thursday, including Anchorage's Holly Brooks, who has been with Randall on the World Cup circuit all season and owns two top-five finishes, including a bronze medal in a relay race.

Others racing include Sadie Bjornsen, Rosie Brennan and Erik Bjornsen, who all train with Randall and Brooks at the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center.

Chelsea Holmes of Girdwood, who races out of Sun Valley, and Caitlin Patterson of Anchorage, who races with Vermont's Craftsbury Green Racing Project, are also entered in the women's race. David Norris of Fairbanks, who races for Montana State, is in the men's race.

After a day off for training on Friday, racing resumes Saturday with Randall's best event, the freestyle sprint, with coverage beginning at 10:30 a.m. Sunday's coverage of the skiathlon -- a mixed-technique individual race -- begins at 9 a.m.

More Alaskans are expected to race later in the series.



Anchorage Daily News