Karl Saidla & Megan McTavish skis for XC Ottawa www.xcottawa.ca . Karl raced in the World Cup 15K event in this article
The â€œMonsterâ€ if you haven’t figured it out yet, is the Canmore World Cup Race Course. Beckie Scott and Ivan Babikov certainly pulled on their monster taming clothes this morning. As you know by now, Beckie took her third World Cup medal in as many races, this time a silver behind Julija Tchepalova of Russia. It was essentially a two-woman race, with Beckie fourteen seconds back and third place going to Evi Sachenbacher about one minute from the winner. Sara Renner took 12th and Sarah Konrad was 23rd.
In the men’s race the only people faster than Babikov were the people on the podium. These were, in order of finish, Pietro Piller Cottrer, Vincent Vittoz and Tobias Angerer. In then end, Babikov was only about thirty seconds from the win. The top Canadian was George Grey, who also turned in a very impressive performance, finishing 16th, roughly a minute behind the leaders. Americans Kris Freeman and Carl Swenson also showed that they are among the top skiers in the world, finishing 18th and 22nd.
Megan McTavish caught up with some of the racers today and this is roughly what they had to say:
Beckie Scott (2nd place)
It was a good race. I knew that I could be a contender today and I was leading at the first split. The rest of my splits put me only behind Tchepalova so I knew that things were going well. I wanted to win so I did my best to finish strong but it wasn’t quite enough. These World Cups have been an affirmation that my training is going well and I am very excited for the Olympics.
Tobias Angerer (3rd)
It was very hard. These tracks are very tough. I tried to ski three even laps and I think that was the key to making it to the podium today. We are having a great time in Canada. It was fun skiing in Silver Star. The races have all been very good and Canada is perfect!
Amanda Ammar (37th- Canadian National Group)
I am pleased with my race. I was trying not to be afraid of the hills. It was a good course and I just tried to attack the hills. Things went well
Dasha Gaiazova (31st-Canadian National Group)
It was a good race. I was only two seconds from scoring World Cup points. It was my third World Cup race and it was my best result. I am a little angry about missing the points but I am looking forward to Saturday because it is my stronger technique.
Racers have a day off tomorrow, with more challenges waiting for them on the weekend. Saturday is a 15k mass start for women and a 30k mass start for men, once again on some very tough courses. Sunday’s team sprint promises to be extremely exciting racing.