Canmore World Cups: Silver makes it 6 medals in 5 World Cups!
By: Karl Saidla (2005/12/18)
Sara Renner and Beckie Scott
capped off an incredible series of World Cups by winning a silver medal
in todayís sprint relay. In fact, the Canadian duo narrowly
missed the gold as Renner was only overtaken by Viola Bauer in the last
metres of the race. The Canadians appeared to be in control from very
early on, with Scott repeatedly stringing out the field in the latter
parts of the course and Renner clearly pushing the pace as well. Given
that Scott actually opened a gap on a couple of occasions as she came
in for the exchange, some onlookers wondered if it might have been a
better decision to have her ski the anchor leg. On the other hand,
given the way that Sara Renner double-poled her way to a bronze medal
in the finishing stretch of the World Championships last year, one can
understand the rationale for setting it up the way they did. In
any case, the bottom line is that a World Cup silver medal is nothing
to sneeze at. Also not to be sneezed at is the fact that the Canadians
actually managed to get two womenís teams into the final with Chandra
Crawford and Milaine Theriault making up the second team.
Canada (2nd), Germany (1st), Sweden (3rd)
The menís final was even closer than the womenís. The Swedish team of Thobias Fredriksson and Bjoern Lind made numerous aggressive moves to stretch the field, and notably the hotly pursuing Norwegian team of Eldar Roenning and Jens Arne Svartedal to the limit. On the last trip of the major climb of the course Fredriksson put on a phenomenal burst of high-tempo diagonal stride but Roening was able to keep himself in the race. This set things up for a double poling showdown on the long gradual uphill stretch to the finish. With the crowd going crazy, Roening and Fredriksson double poled side by side into the last metres of the race, with Roening squeezing out the victory in the last five metres.
Sweden (2nd), Norway (1st), Sweden (3rd)
The number one American team
of Andy Newell and Torin Koos skied strongly but were not quite able
to match the pace in the later portions of the race. One would
think that given more opportunities it is likely that these boys will
soon be making an impression. The Canadian men had a number of
teams that threatened to take a spot in the final. Two of them (Widmer-Crooks
and Goldsack-Grey) placed 6th in their respective semi-finals.
Once again it would seem fair to say that good things lie ahead for
All in all, today was a very
fitting end to some fantastic Canadian World Cups. Everything came together
just about right. The weather, though cold for some of the races also
tended to be sunny, taking away from the chill factor significantly.
All of the courses were in fantastic shape, as were many Canadian an
US skiers who showed that they belong with the best of the best.
All the athletes appeared to agree that the atmosphere and the organization
were top notch. Having special cultural events like the winter rodeo
at the stadium in Canmore between the races on Saturday added a special
touch. There is a rumour that World Cups are coming back to Canada
in about two years. We should all keep our fingers crossed because if
they turn out anything like these ones have we are in for a treat.