In the exciting men’s race, Eldar Roenning (NOR) earned his first World Cup victory of the season, edging teammate John Kristian Dahl at the line. Another Norweigan, Ola Vigen Hattestad, took third. Emil Joensson (SWE), the top qualifier, and winner of the freestyle sprint in Canmore was fourth with Peteer Kummel scoring a career best fifth place finish in front of the home crowd. Norway made it four of the top six with Anders Gloerson taking the final A-final position.
Kummel profited from a jury decision against Canadian Devon Kershaw in advancing to the A-final. Another Estonian, Timo Simonlatser, finished 12th, capping a successful weekend for the host nation.
Said Hattestad, “I have never been so close to victory, but I’m very happy with second place as well. My skis were quite good and I tried to be offensive. I followed the leader, but he was too strong today.”
Nasty weather conditions added another variable to the race – warm temperatures and rain made for complicated waxing. Said the winner Roenning “I changed the wax during the race. The rainfall was too heavy and not pleasant, but it is amazing to get my first victory of the season.”
Andy Newell led the American team with a 28th place finish. Newell qualified in 14th, posting a time of 3:43.69, five second behind the top qualifier, Joensson. Newell finished last in his quarterfinal +2.8 seconds.
Torin Koos failed to qualify for the heats, finsihing 32nd, .36 seconds out of the top 30. Chris Cook was 45th, a little under four seconds out of qualifying.
The men raced on a long 1.4 kilometer course.
Canadian Devon Kershaw had a strong day, qualifying in 17th and racing up to 8th in the heats. Apparently Kershaw was penalized by the jury for obstruction in his semifinal, but the FIS report is unclear.
Fellow Canadians Phil Widmer, Drew Goldsack, and Alex Harvery took places 42, 44, and 53 respectively.
Lukas Bauer (CZE) is still the leader of the overall World Cup ranking with 916 points. He is followed by RenÃ© Sommerfeldt (GER, 621 points) and Tor Arne Hetland (NOR, 576 points). Bauer, a poor sprinter, did not race today. Sommerfeldt also skipped the event and Hetland was 27th.
In the sprint World Cup Joensson of Sweden leads with 320 points. Hattestad is second with 261 points and Kristian Dahl third with 216 points.