American Kikkan Randall wins title in Tour de Ski race

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American Kikkan Randall skis to victory in the 3.1-kilometer sprint during the Tour de Ski on Saturday. It was her second win of the year.  JENS MEYER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
JENS MEYER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
American Kikkan Randall skis to victory in the 3.1-kilometer sprint during the Tour de Ski on Saturday. It was her second win of the year.

OBERHOF, Germany — Kikkan Randall, of the United States, claimed her second cross-country World Cup victory of the season when she won the prologue event of the Tour de Ski on Saturday.

Randall clinched the 3.1-kilometer sprint by leaving Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla 4.4 seconds behind. World Cup leader Justyna Kowalczyk, of Poland, was third.

The tour consists of seven events over nine days in Germany, Switzerland and Italy.

Randall finished last season’s series in 10th place and was second in the sprint prologue.

Norway’s Petter Northug won the men’s 4-kilometer prologue to stretch his World Cup lead. Northug beat Sweden’s Marcus Hellner by 6.1 seconds, while Russia’s Alexander Legkov was 7.2 seconds behind. Three-time tour winner Dario Cologna, of Switzerland, was fourth.

WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: In Semmering, Austria, Veronika Velez Zuzulova, of Slovakia, upset the favorites to win a World Cup night slalom for her first career victory.

She trailed overall World Cup leader Tina Maze by 0.55 seconds after the opening leg but overtook the Slovenian with a near-flawless final run.

Velez Zuzulova finished in a combined time of 1 minute, 37.28 seconds. Kathrin Zettel, of Austria, was 0.10 back. Maze was third, 0.20 behind.

The rest of the field finished more than a second behind Velez Zuzulova.

Teenager Mikeala Shiffrin, of the United States, who led the slalom standings going into the race, straddled a gate and didn’t finish her second run.

Defending overall champion Lindsey Vonn missed the race while recovering from an intestinal illness, and world slalom champion Marlies Schild, of Austria, is out for three months after knee surgery.

MEN’S WORLD CUP: In Bormio, Italy, Austria’s Hannes Reichelt and Italy’s Dominik Paris shared a downhill victory in one of the closest races in skiing history, with the top four finishers separated by a mere two-hundredths of a second.

Paris took the early lead by clocking 1 minute, 58.62 seconds for his first career win and Reichelt matched him to give Austria its first speed win of the season.

Overall World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal, of Norway, finished third, 0.01 seconds behind – the smallest possible margin. Austria’s Klaus Kroell was fourth, missing out on a podium finish despite being just 0.02 behind the winners.

“On a hill as tough as this to have a race that close, that’s surprising,” Svindal said. “The crazy thing is we were fast in different sections.”

In the super-G at the 1999 world championships in Vail, Colo., Lasse Kjus and Hermann Maier shared victory, with Hans Knauss 0.01 behind in third. However, the fourth-place finisher in that race, Stephan Eberharter, was 0.22 back.

The top American finisher was Travis Ganong in seventh for his best career result.


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