This past weekend, several members of XC Ottawa were in Quebec City to enjoy the food, culture, and most of all the World Cup Races! XC Ottawa's own Megan McTavish, was competing and getting some of the loudest cheers from teammates, family and friends.
This World Cup weekend featured some “City Style Sprints” located in the heart of downtown Quebec City. The sprint course was built right on the street in front of Quebec Parliament. Friday was the Skate Team Sprint event and on Saturday was the Skate Individual Sprint event. The atmosphere and excitement on both days was unreal and it was awesome to see the live action of Canadian skiers mixing it up in the big league. Lets start with some interesting facts to help put it in perspective and set the scene of the event.
- Cost: 2.5 million
- Amount of snow: over 15,000 cubic meters
- About 50,000 people were estimated to have attended
- How did athletes warm up? Skiing on a short loop, stationary biking, rollerskiing and running
- Last World Cup this side of Thunder Bay? 27 years ago in
Labrador City, NL
- What does the organizer event company (Gestev) usually do? Things like Red Bull Crashed Ice, and downhill mountain bike races. Would they do it again? YES!
- The "jump" down (about 30 cm) before the courses final
turn was the first feature of this kind in a World Cup Sprint.
Ref: Fasterskier and Ski Trax
City Sprint racing at its finest!
Devon in the Team Sprint. Alex and Devon finished a solid 5th place on Friday!
Kyle and Logan just hangin' out at the race site with World Cup Skier, Megan McTavish.
“Catching up with Megan McTavish”
These races were a BIG deal for the World Cup Circuit and for Canadian Ski History. Megan earned herself a qualifying spot at the Canmore World Cup Trial races a week before as well as FIS points from last season. She was selected to race the Individual Sprint on Saturday. After a quick turn around in Ottawa, some last minute travel plans and a letter from CCCski to miss work – she was off to Quebec for some World Cup action! It was great to watch a teammate compete at such a big race and to hear about her experience throughout the weekend. I even had a chance to conduct a short interview with her.
This wasn't your first appearance on the World Cup scene in Canada. What were some interesting highlights that differed this world cup experience from the other?
The last World Cup that I did was in Canmore in 2008. I did the classic sprint and the individual start 10km skate. It was also a lot of fun and a great racing experience, most notably in the 10km skate because as an early starter I ended up lapping through with the top racers so really got to feel their speed up the monstrous climbs.
The experience in Quebec City was completely different mostly due to the number of fans lining the course. I think the atmosphere at a World Cup city sprint in a large city is really cool and totally unlike anything we are used to as cross country skiers!
The race course on Saturday was compared to a "tunnel of noise". What was that like for you?
That is definitely what it felt like! It was cool because a lot of spectators came from Ottawa and I could hear my name all the way around the course.
What was your "shape" like and how did you feel about the course & snow conditions?
Well, I have to say that sprinting in deep sugary snow is probably not on the top of my list of conditions that suit me. In this case, that didn't really matter because it was the location and crowds that really made the day.
The Quebec World Cup appeared to be a big hit! Do you think
we can get use to seeing World Cups in Quebec?
I think this first
World Cup in Quebec was a big success and I think it will happen again!
The Quebec fans and media got really into it and there were also lots of people
up from the US. I think it is a perfect location to get the
attention a World Cup in Canada deserves.
Megan racing in the sprint qualifier!
Going hard to the finish on the Jumbotron!
Megan also shared some of her "insider photos" with us. Check them out below.
Kate Brennan, Megan, Heidi Widmer, Erin Tribe, Zoe Roy and Maya Maclsaac-Jones after the sprint
Corey Stock (U.S.A.) warming down on the bike
Interesting warm up method in the light snow
Eload / FAE sponsor shot inside the Athletes lounge!
Congratulations to Megan on her World Cup race!
More good weekend pictures below. Thanks for reading!
Men's final Team Sprint
Kikkan racing to Victory!
Karl also made the trip to Quebec... in the Matrix. Which is a little overshadowed!