Snow covers the track in downtown Quebec City in preparation for this weekend's World Cup sprints. The USSA Network will cover the events live at www.usskiteam.com beginning at 1:50 p.m EST Friday and 1:05 p.m. Saturday. (Gestev)
QUEBEC CITY, PQ (Dec. 6) - The streets of historic Quebec City are snow covered and ready for the expected 50,000 specatators for the first ever FIS World Cup sprint races Friday and Saturday. With an expanded nation's quota for the North American event, the U.S. Ski Team will enter four men's and four women's teams in Friday's freestyle team sprint. Racing gets underway at 2:00 p.m. EST, with live coverage on the USSA Network at www.usskiteam.com starting at 1:50 p.m. EST. FIS World Cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) will team with Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) in the top USA women's team while Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) and Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO) will lead the World Cup men. All four U.S. women's teams are in the second of two semi-final heats.
USA ENTRIES Men 11 - USA 3 - Reid Pletcher and Sylvan Ellefson 18 - USA 1 - Andy Newell and Simi Hamilton 24 - USA 4 - Pat O'Brien and Reese Hanneman 25 - USA 2 - Ryan Scott and Erik Bjornsen
Women 13 - USA 1 - Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins 18 - USA 2 - Ida Sargent and Holly Brooks 20 - USA 4 - Rebecca Rorabaugh and Caitlin Gregg 21 - USA 3 - Sadie Bjornsen and Sophie Caldwell
RACE PROGRAM 12:00 p.m. - Women's Semi-Final A 12:25 p.m. - Women's Semi-Final B (all four U.S. teams) 12:50 p.m. - Men's Semi-Final A (teams 1-13) 1:15 p.m. - Men's Semi-Final B (teams 14-25) 2:00 p.m. - Women's Finals (LIVE on USSA Network) 2:28 p.m. - Men's Finals (LIVE on USSA Network)
QUOTES Chris Gover, Head Cross Country Coach We're one of the teams that can put together two of the really top women. But at the same time team sprint is the ultimate gamble in the way that things have to absolutely go right. There are so many things that can go wrong in a team sprint.
It's really exciting for us to have eight teams racing tomorrow. Usually at a World Cup we are racing with one or two men's and women's teams, so to be here and have eight is great. It's also nice to have club coaches and servicemen helping out.
On the women's side, we've had a lot of success with team sprint, with second place finishes. First with Kikkan and Sadie in Dusseldorf and then Jessie and Kikkan in Milano. Interesting too, that those were both city sprints, freestyle, and this is a city sprint, freestyle, so we'll for sure be one of the favorites.