Norway, Germany Win Team Sprints
CANMORE, Alberta (Dec. 18) – Norway and Germany won the World Cup team sprints Sunday at Canmore Nordic Centre while Canadian Beckie Scott reached the podium for the fifth straight race. U.S. men were ninth and the top women’s twosome was 11th in more single-digit cold.
Eldar Roenning overtook and then held off Sweden’s Thobias Fredriksson as Norway I won by one-tenth of a second in 16:22.4 after six 1.2K laps of classic technique skiing by Jens Arne Svartedal and Roenning. Fredriksson was paired with Bjoern Lind.
Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) and Torin Koos (Leavenworth, WA) recovered from an early spill and – with Koos posting the fastest first leg – finished ninth (17:02.5). USA III (Chad Giese – St. Paul, MN; Colin Rogers – Limestone, ME) was 20th and USA II (Lars Flora – Anchorage, AK; Dave Chamberlain – Bethel, ME) were eliminated in semifinals.
â€œAndy fell in his first lap,â€ U.S. Head Coach Trond Nystad said, â€œand after that they were pretty much playing catch-up all the way. They dropped back about 100 or 150 meters and Koos got some of that back but they never could close the gap.â€
In the women’s sprint, Manuela Henkel and Viola Bauer won in 18:38.6 to edge Scott and Sara Renner by a second. USA I – Wendy Wagner (Park City, UT) and U.S. sprint champion Lindsay Williams (Hastings, MN), a senior at Northern Michigan University – were 11th with USA II (Alison Crocker – Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Rebecca Dussault – Gunnison, CO) and USA III (Lindsey Weier – Mahtomedi, MN; Kate Whitcomb – Limestone, ME) were eliminated in semifinals.
The team sprints concluded two World Cup stops in Canada, the first in North America since the pre-Olympic races at Soldier Hollow, Utah, in January 2001 and the first in Canada since the World Championships at Thunder Bay, Ont., in March 1995 when Worlds still were part of the World Cup points scoring.
The next major cross county events are the U.S. Cross Country Championships Jan. 3-10 at Soldier Hollow, part of USSA’s 10 Weeks to Torino schedule of major competitions as part of the 2006 Olympic Team selection process.
â€œThese were good races and I’m glad we brought a big group,â€ Nystad said, â€œbecause it was an awakening for a lot of them, I think, as to just how fast they have to be skiing if they really want to compete at this level. Everyone gave their best effort, no question; some had better results, of course, and some people are sitting in a better position than others [for the Olympic Team]…but we [coaches] were pleased by the way everyone was fighting as hard as they could.
â€œThey gave it their best shot, which was good. I’m proud of the way the whole group – the athletes, the coaches, all the waxing techs – worked together. I think everyone had a good experience and I’m sure most of them learned something from their first real look at the World Cup.â€
CROSS COUNTRY WORLD CUP
Alberta Centennial 2005 World Cup
Canmore Nordic Centre
Canmore, ALB – Dec. 18, 2005
Classic Technique Team Sprints
(10 teams made finals)
1. Norway I (Svartedal/Roenning), 16:22.4
2. Sweden I (Lind/T. Fredriksson), 16:22.5
3. Sweden II (M. Larsson/Oestberg), 16:28.1
4. Russia (Egoshin/Alypov), 16:29.1
5. Poland (Kreczmer/Krezelok), 16:32.4
9. USA I (Newell/Koos), 17:02.5
20. USA III (Giese/Rogers)
21. USA II (L. Flora/Chamberlain)
1. Germany (Henkel/Bauer), 18:38.6
2. Canada I (Scott/Renner), 18:39.6
3. Sweden I (Andersson/Dahlberg), 18:45.4
4. Russia (O. Rocheva/O. Rotcheva), 18:47.3
5. Sweden II (Ek/Oehrstig), 18:59.8
11. USA I (Wagner/Williams)
14. USA II (Crocker/Dussault
16. USA III (Weier/Whitcomb)
For complete results:
Source: US Ski Team