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“It was a bad race,” Kuck said. “We struggled out there. I can’t think of a worse team pursuit we’ve done, so it’s hard to have that happen at the Olympics.”

Heather Richardson, Brittany Bowe and Rookard fared better in the early going of their women’s quarterfinal against the Dutch. But fading over the last 2½ laps, they simply couldn’t keep up with the country that has already won 21 medals at the oval and is assured of a 22nd in men’s team pursuit.

“It’s a super solid race for us,” Richardson insisted. “I actually think it’s the best team pursuit that we’ve had all season, technique-wise and staying together. It’s definitely our fastest low-land, so we can take that away from this race. Obviously the best placement we’ve had this whole games. Hopefully we can get that fifth spot.”

But there won’t be a medal for the U.S. speedskaters.

Not at these games.