FALUN, Sweden (March 19) - The final weekend of the FIS Cross Country World Cup will feature a multi-stage mini-tour at the traditional Swedish Ski Games in Falun. In Friday's opening prologue, Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) kicked it off finishing 36th to lead the U.S..
Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk won the women's 2.5K prologue, followed in second by Norway's Marit Bjoergen and Charlotte Kalla of Sweden in third.
In the men's 3.3K prologue race Switzerland's Dario Cologna won. Mats Larsson of Sweden was second and Maxim Vylegzhanin of Russia was third.
Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT), who was on a World Cup podium earlier this month, led the U.S. in 48th.
The Swedish Ski Games opened with Friday's King and Queen of Moerdarbacken prologue. Saturday action shifts into pursuits, with the men running 10K classic and 10K freestyle, and the women racing 5K each. The Games end Sunday with a handicapped start race with the men skiing 15K freestyle and the women 10K.
The U.S. athletes will return for the long distance events of the U.S. Cross Country Championships and USSA SuperTour Finals March 24-29 in Fort Kent, ME.
Contributed by US SKI TEAM