The individual start classic races of the Canadian Nationals brought some more of the sunny weather and sugary conditions that have been here all week. As the temperature did not drop as low over night as it had the previous days, the classic tracks were even softer than before. Rock hard ice underneath the sugar on some of the more tricky downhill sections did cause numerous falls and the occasional broken pole.
For some, like winner of the women’s open 5km, Dasha Gaiazova, the sugar was sweet. 26 seconds back came the consistently impressive junior skier, Perianne Jones, followed by Amanda Ammar a further 10 seconds behind.
Ivan Babikov showed everyone who is boss once again in the open men’s 7.5k classic, taking the win by 10 seconds over Dan Roycroft, unbelievably off the plane from the World Championships the very morning of the race. 1st year senior Dave Nighbor took third, 17 seconds behind Babikov. The top junior was Brent McMurtry, about a minute off the winning pace.
Another great race was provided by Alex Harvey (son of the legendary Pierre Harvey), who placed second amongst the juniors despite being three seasons away from his last year as a junior.
Tomorrow’s pursuit start skating races promise to be exciting and entertaining. The fields are competitive and deep, while the trails are narrow, twisty, and icy. Time to tune those edges, and maybe the elbows as well!