Val di Fiemme, ITA-A year ago Canada’s Sara Renner would have been happy with a 12th-place result in a women’s 15-kilometre mass start race. Today, it is simply not good enough.
“It was a solid performance today and I’m satisfied, but I now suspect a lot more of myself,” said the 29-year-old Canmore, Alta. native. “After finishing sixth in this event in Canmore, I know I can consistently be in the top 10 and fight for a podium spot so I have to get better. I'm in a completely different mindset now than last year which is a good thing.”
Competing in her first World Cup race since having a dream month in Canada in December, Renner was the lone Canadian female to suit up as the rest of her teammates took the extra day to overcome jet lag suffered this week after the long flight from Canada. Renner has been training in Europe since January 1 after spending the New Year with husband, and Canadian alpine skier, Thomas Grandi.
With her teammates cheering her on in the star-studded field, Renner continued to solidify her position as one of the top all-round skiers on the circuit after she locked up 12th spot on Satuday in Val Di Fiemme, Italy with a time of 41 minutes 46.0 seconds under cold temperatures and difficult racing conditions.
“It is difficult to be back in Europe, and it takes a little more adjusting because we had such great success in Canada,” said Renner, who added the only thing missing today was having teammate, Beckie Scott, at the start line with her. “On top of that, it was a really difficult race because the snow was slow, but the field was skiing fast. I know what I need to improve on to get myself where I want to be.”
Katerina Neumannova of the Czech Republic was the first woman to cross the line at 40:51.0. Russia’s Julija Tchepalova was second at 41:04.9, while Norway’s Marit Bjoergen claimed the bronze medal with a time of 41:13.9.
On the men’s side of the coin, Dan Roycroft of Port Sydney, Ont., gave his body a test on Saturday despite battling an eight-hour time zone change. It was a challenging day for the 27 year old, who finished 64th in the men’s 30 kilometre mass start race with a time of 1:19:10.8.
Germany’s Tobias Angerer made his way back to a familiar position on top of the podium, winning the men’s race, which came down to a sprint to the wire. Angerer came out on top with a time of 1:14:49.3, while Russia’s Eugeni Dementiev was second at 1:14:49.6, and Italy’s Pietro Piller Coffrer won the bronze medal (1:14:49.9).
Source: Cross Country Canada