-Canada battles hard with the US in Umea World Cup-Â
Devon Kershaw started for Canada as the relay team worked on gaining further experience at the World Cup level. Kershaw, from Sudbury, skied a strong first leg, finishing only 43 seconds off the lead and 50 seconds ahead of the US's Justin Freeman as Canada completed the leg in 14th.
On the second leg it was George Grey matched against US speedster Kris Freeman, with the US entering the exchange just ahead of Canada, which dropped back to 15th.Â The 3rd leg saw Drew Goldsack matched against the US's Carl Swenson. Swenson who has had several top 10 World Cup results in past seasonsÂ managed to extend the US's lead to 12 seconds over the next 10k. Canada completed the leg in 15th.
Chris Jeffries skied the anchor leg for Canada, catching the US's Andrew Johnson in the first 2k.Â The rest of the leg was a back and forth battle as theÂ two skiers switched the lead. In the end it was the US prevailing byÂ five seconds at the finish and Canada's final placing was 14th, the 10th nation.
Of note, at last year's World Championships the US beat Canada by overÂ five minutes, with onlyÂ one different team member on each team.
Germany outdueled Norway, Sweden, and Italy for the win in the men's race, with Axel Teichmann sealing the victory with a final sprint. On the women's side, Norway outlasted Russia and Finland to win. No North American women raced.
Source: Cross Country Canada, FIS