The 2007 Canadian National Championship Sprints were contested on Friday at Mont St. Anne, Quebec. The championship week has seen almost every type of weather. Conditions for the classic sprint showed that spring is near with temperatures plus 4 Celsius and above.
In the men’s race, Phil Widmer posted the fastest qualifying time of the day, 2:46.3. In the heats, ski choice was critical due to a long steep climb out of the start, but a flat and slightly downhill final 400 meters.
In the A-final, Nighbor, who recently flew back from U23 World Championships in Italy, led the final half of the race to win the national title. Graham Nishikawa finished second, in a close finish with Chris Jeffries. Dan Roycroft and Colin Rogers got tangled up in the final climb and finished 4th and 5th respectively.
Perianne Jones led the women’s qualifier in 3:12.7 but Olympic Champion Chandra Crawford and Laura Valaas led the rounds. Both Crawford and Valaas flew in early the morning of the race from Stockholm where they raced the World Cup sprint on Wednesday.
In the A-final, the two distanced the rest of the field after the first climb. Valaas who opened a slight gap on Crawford held on to cross the line first. Dasha Gaiazova finished third.
Full results are to be posted at www.zone4.ca
The final race of the Canadian Nationals is a 30km/50km freestyle on Sunday, March 25.