Canadian World Cup: Continuous Pursuit. Excitement? Yes, please!
By: Karl Saidla (2005/12/10)
The womenís race started
fast and stayed that way. An unexpected leader after the classic
race was Jatskaja of Kazakhstan, who came into the exchange zone with
a very slight lead over the lead pack including all of the favourites,
including Bjoergen and Canadian hero Becky Scott. The pack was thinned
out gradually in the skating portion with Scott doing much of the work
in front of Bjoergen and Pedersen of Norway. Majdic, who had been
strong throughout the race fell on the last downhill which effectively
ended her bid for a top spot. The battle came right down to the wire
with Becky Scott pulling alongside Bjoergen but being unable to overtake
her. Judging from the time that Bjorgen spent lying in the snow after
it was over, this was not a race where she just cruised to victory.
It was a great day for the Canadian women, who placed three women in
the top 30 with Scott in 2nd, Renner in 12th and
Theriault grabbing the last World Cup point in 30th spot.
The top 3 Americans were Abigail Larson (35) Rebecca Dussault (39) and
Allison Crocker (41).
An interesting aspect of these
World Cups is that the extra spots allotted to Canada and the US provide
a unique opportunity for some younger skiers to gain valuable experience.
I managed to catch up with a couple of the younger Canadians who turned
in some great performances:
Graham Nishikawa (21), 46th
place: "It was the most fun race I have ever done. The crowd was terrific,
which was very inspiring. I am really glad to have had the opportunity
to experience this."
Brent McMurtry (Junior!), 57th place: "It was so much fun to get my first World Cup start. Obviously it will take a few more years to get into the top 10, but it was just great to be able to get the experience and to have an idea of what I need to do in the future."
Top-5 Women and Canadian Results:
1.Marit Bjoergen, NOR, 42:27.8; 2. Beckie Scott, Vermilion, Alta., CAN, 42:28.1; 3. Hilde Pedersen, NOR, 42:30.4; 4. Evi Sachenbacher Stehle, GER, 42:31.5; 5. Kristin Muerer Stemland, NOR, 42:33.6.
12. Sara Renner, Canmore, Alta., 43:05.7; 30. Milaine Theriault, St. Quentin, N.B., 44:51.9; 36. Dasha Gaiazova, Montreal, 46:06.6; 43. Madeleine Williams, Edmonton, 47:34.0; 44. Tasha Betcherman, Thunder Bay, Ont., 47:41.9; 45. Perianne Jones, Almonte, Ont., 47:54.1; 47. Amanda Ammar, Onoway, Alta., 48:38.7; 49. Shayla Swanson, Calgary, 49:33.9.
Top-5 Men and Canadian Results:
1.Tobias Angerer, GER, 1:17:19.2; 2. Axel Teichmann, GER, 1:17:20.5; 3. Andreas Schluetter, GER, 1:17:21.4; 4. Jens Filbrich, GER, 1:17:22.7; 5. Rene Sommerfeldt, GER, 1:17:24.1.
14. Ivan Babikov, Canmore, Alta., 1:17:27. 8; 37. Dan Roycroft, Port Sydney, Ont., 1:19:41.3; 39. George Grey, Rossland, B.C., 1:20:05.2; 40. David Nighbor, North Bay, Ont., 1:20:14.3; 46. Graham Nishikawa, Whitehorse, YK, 1:20:39.9; 54. Chris Jeffries, Chelsea, Que., 1:23:03.0; 56. Adam Kates, Thunder Bay, Ont., 1:27:22.3; 57. Brent McMurtry, Calgary, 1:27:24.5.
Hilde Peterson G. leading
Canadian Amanda Ammar
Men's lead pack.
Lead skate pack.