I’ll borrow a few phrases from my friend, World famous announcer Peter Graves to describe the conditions for Sundays 15 and 30 kilometer skate races on U-23 Worlds final day at Soldier Hollow, USA. (He was not there but this is how I would imagine it would have sounded):
â€œWelcome to Soldier Hollow — the start is now only 20 minutes away – It’s a beautiful day for cross country skiing — sunny, no wind – it couldn’t be better — some of the most fit athletes in the World are here — look at those legs – look at those skiers — look at those athletes – see their determination — learn from them — these are some of the best and hardest race courses in the World — we should all be cross country skiers — let’s give it up for The Rolling Stones for a few minutes!â€
The women’s race
The womens winner 150 meter from the finish – impressive last 1.5 k. That's were she skied away by 19 seconds.
She skied up that hill with impressive turnover and gained ground with every step and finished 19 seconds ahead of second place Anja Krellner of Germany Christina Kelder of Italy.
Americans Kikkan Randal and Nikole DeYoung both skied well and placed 8th and 9th.
The men’s race
The pace was pretty easy for awhile in the men’s 30 kilometer race as well. That was until Brodar Nejc of Slovenia started to be aggressive in the front and broke away along with three Italians. With 9 k to go Brodar and Mariggl of Italy got a gap to the two other Italians. Margill made a great move (full sprint) and got a gap to Brodar with 7.5 k to go. Brodar never gave up but the gap gradually got bigger and was 27 seconds at the finish. Clara Rolland of Italy was 3rd.
It was impressive to see Margill â€œJump skateâ€ most of the shorter hills with 7.5 k to go and to see a skier from a â€œsmall ski nationâ€ like Slovenia capture a silver medal.