Sunday was for the distance racers in Gällivare, Sweden, with five Canadians — four men and one woman — getting a chance to test their form in the 10/15 k classic races. Alex Harvey notched his second-podium performance in third, Emily Nishikawa was fourth, Devon Kershaw fifth, Ivan Babikov sixth, and Graeme Killick eighth.
Regulars for the last week in Gällivare, the Canadians put themselves in the mix in Saturday’s classic sprints with Perianne Jones winning the women’s final, Alex Harvey taking second to Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov in the men’s final, Lenny Valjas placing fourth and Jess Cockney bringing it home in sixth.
Good workouts never get old. This week, we bring back a Pro Workout of the past, which Devon Kershaw wrote almost exactly four years ago, just before leaving for Europe in early November. “A great workout this time of year – especially if you are coming off some volume (at altitude or not) and feel your body needs that lactate tolerance work to ‘shock’ the system,” Kershaw writes.
While two Americans won Friday’s Frozen Thunder sprints, Canada had its revenge on Monday, taking four of six podium spots. In the men’s 10.8 k skate race, Devon Kershaw bested Kris Freeman by five seconds to take the win. In the Women’s 7.2 k race, biathlete Rosanna Crawford edged Liz Stephen for the win.
There are a couple things one can count on in Canmore, including solid tracks and quality snow, even in October. At the first unofficial sprint of the North American season on Friday, more than 120 racers found both for the Frozen Thunder classic sprint, and organizers added what could be a new tradition to the mix: a zero-elimination format.
Nous avons joint Bilodeau à sa demeure savoyarde, battue derechef par une forte pluie contraignant le passionné de pêche à délaisser temporairement le Rhône. L’homme revient avec humour sur ses débuts en 1995, nous présente ses compagnons d’armes oeuvrant au sein de l’équipe canadienne et se prononce sans détour sur les déconvenues de Sochi.
Dasha Gaiazova was on the fence about continuing her ski career after the 2014 Olympics.The Russian-born Canadian had competed at back-to-back home Olympics, and in May, she wasn’t named to Canada’s World Cup or senior development teams. “I felt like I wanted to keep racing,” she recalled. “The team got announced and I didn’t get on the team, and I was like, I gotta think about some things.”
In his first week as president/chair of Cross Country Canada, Jamie Coatsworth — a longtime financial supporter of Canadian nordic skiing — talks about the position and how he ended up filling the vacancy left by Richard Lemoine. “Sort of looking up around the room, I spoke to some of the other board members,” Coatsworth said. “And I said somebody’s gotta do it.”
Chandra Crawford stuck with skiing long after winning gold as a U23 at the 2006 Olympics because she remembered when Beckie Scott and Sara Renner explained “it would take ten years to get good.” She committed, and after three Olympics, Crawford, 30, retired from the sport to pursue higher education — cutting right to the chase with an MBA to better serve Fast and Female.
Tor-Arne Hetland is officially part of the Canadian crew after wrapping up his first training camp with the Canadian World Cup Team in May. Onboard since April, he says he’s eager to give the perspective and stability that Cross Country Canada wants. “It is asked for new ideas into the team and I’m ready to give this,” Hetland says. “And also more stability in the World Cup.”
In an interview on Friday, Canadian head coach Justin Wadsworth discussed how he will work with Tor Arne Hetland in the coming year for Canmore-based World Cup athletes – “I’ve already had fun talking training with him” – and the other part of his new job, getting the national training centers aligned with the World Cup team to improve the development pipeline.
Canadian Women’s World Cup Coach Eric de Nys is in the process of starting a new junior-training program in Canmore after parting ways with the national team. “With the World Cup team being what it will be next year, it just can’t justify having that many coaches there,” he says. “We had to do some restructuring and part of that was eliminating a job.”