OtherRacingAustralians win 2005 Kangaroo Hoppet

FasterSkier FasterSkierAugust 28, 2005

Australians win 2005 Kangaroo Hoppet

The fifteenth Kangaroo Hoppet, Australia's international ski marathon, was
held today in Falls Creek in north-east Victoria. Australia's Ben Sim
became the first ever junior skier to win the 42km Freestyle event, ahead
of Raul Olle from Estonia and Francois Soulie from France. Clare-Louise
Brumley made it an Australian double, claiming back to back wins in the
women's 42km race.

The Kangaroo Hoppet is the opening race of the 2005/2006 Worldloppet series
of ski marathons, which are held in 14 countries around the world. More
than 1000 competitors from 22 countries took part in the event. Conditions
for the event were near perfect, with a good freeze overnight keeping the
tracks hard and fast, and brilliant sunshine seeing many competitors and
spectators sporting T-shirts.

The international field in the men's event was tougher this year, with Olle
one of the world's leading cross country marathon skiers and a former
winner of the Vasaloppet in Sweden. At the 15km mark the leading group was
down to four athletes – Olle, Soulie and four-time Hoppet winner Ben
Derrick from Falls Creek – when Sim made his decisive move with a sprint
after the “Paralyser”, the longest hill on the course. Soulie was caught
taking a drink and Derrick tried to bridge the gap with Olle on his tail,
however after the initial gap Sim put in a big effort to consolidate his
lead. Soulie rejoined Derrick and Olle at the start of the second 21km
loop, but by the time they started to work together Sim was gone. Soulie
turned up the screws slowly the second time up the Paralyser, taking Olle
with him and dropping Derrick. Sim went on to win by nearly a minute and a
half in the time of 1:38:33, with Olle overtaking Soulie on the last
downhill one kilometre from the finish to get up for second place by 13
seconds.

Twenty-year old Sim from Cooma in NSW is a scholarship holder of the NSW
Institute of Sport, and is one of Australia's leading cross country skiing
contenders for selection to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino.

Brumley escaped from the other female competitors right from the start, and
went on to win in the time of 1:56:57 over 6 minutes ahead of second place.
The battle for second place see-sawed on the first lap, with Melvey hauled
in by Phillips and Bottomley over the top of the course at about the 18km
mark. Bottomley's better downhill skills gave her a good gap over Phillips
as they came through for the second lap, and the other women were unable to
bring back the gap. Melvey caught Phillips again early in the second lap,
and went to take third place just over a minute behind Bottomley.

Twenty-seven year old Brumley is from Templestowe in Melbourne, and has
based herself at Mt Beauty this winter to train at the National Team
Training Centre at Falls Creek. Along with Sim, Brumley and five other
Australian athletes are members of the Australian Shadow Team aiming to
qualify for Torino 2006.

The 42km event was also the final race in the 2005 FIS Australia / New
Zealand Cup, the only Continental Cup series in the southern hemisphere.
With her second place today Esther Bottomley has managed to clinch victory
in the series by just 20 points, with 320 points ahead of Clare-Louise
Brumley's 300. Ben Sim won the men's series easily, with 380 points ahead
well clear from Mark Raymond with 215 points.

Results
2005 Kangaroo Hooppet
42km Freestyle
Men
1 Ben Sim AUS 1:38:33
2 Raul Olle EST 1:40:01
3 Francois Soulie FRA 1:40:14
4 Ben Derrick AUS 1:41:15
5 Cameron Morton AUS 1:44:50
6 Mark Raymond AUS 1:45:44
7 Andrew Mock AUS 1:47:05
8 Andrew Wynd AUS 1:48:07
9 Gaber Lah SLO 1:48:25
10 Martin Baanerud NOR 1:48:27

Women
1 Clare-Louise Brumley AUS 1:56:57
2 Esther Bottomley AUS 2:03:40
3 Camille Melvey AUS 2:04:48
4 Belinda Phillips AUS 2:09:29
5 Robyn Rodd AUS 2:16:45
6 Jane Scheer AUS 2:20:24
7 Rhiannon Palmer AUS 2:22:30
8 Irene Dunn AUS 2:22:51
9 Kerryn Rim AUS 2:26:32
10 Michele McFarlaine AUS 2:28:48

21km Australian Birkebeiner
Men
1 Ben Koons NZE 51:23
2 Neil van der Ploeg AUS 53:01
3 Alex Almoukov AUS 53:21

Women
1 Sally Cunningham AUS 1:05:37
2 Chloe McConville AUS 1:05:50
3 Felice Beitzel AUS 1:09:44

7km Joey Hoppet
Men
1 Callum Watson AUS 14:42
2 Chis Cook AUS 15:30
3 Andrew Kovacs AUS 15:45

Women
1 Jaffa Wither AUS 16:47
2 d'Arcy Baxter AUS 17:22
3 Sarah Slattery AUS 18:02

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