23-year-old Olga Tiagai (RUS) won the today’s 10km classic interval start race in Schlinig in a time of 29:41.6. The young Russian was the 2005 FIS Nordic Junior World Champion in the Pursuit. She finished 11.9 seconds ahead of French World Cup skier Aurore Cuinet. Silja Tarvonen of Finland took third, 37.3 seconds behind the winner.
Tiagai increased her speed over the course of the race. At the intermediate point at 5km, she was 4th at 5km, 8.8 seconds behind the leader Cuinet.
“I trained really hard for the U23 World Championships,” said Tiagai. “And today I had the result I was hoping for – to win the gold medal. I felt good and I could show my good shape in today’s race. I have to say thank you to my whole team, my coaches and my service staff — it was a great performance from the whole Russian team.”
Morgan Arritola led the American women with an 18th place finish, +1:38.7. Her teammates Liz Stephen and tazlina mannix were just behind in 19th and 21st respectively. Arritola skied an even rcae, ranking 18th at the halfway mark. Stephen and Mannix, on the other hand, started slowly and picked up the pace considerably in the second half – Stephen was 28th at and Mannix 36th at 5km.
Perianne Jones of Canada who was 8th in the sprint, came back with a 12th, +1:18. Two other Canadian women hit the start line. Amanda Ammar, of Onoway, Alta., was 32d at 32:14.3, while Kate Brennan, of Thunder Bay, Ont., was 35th (32:31.8).
In the men’s 15km classic race, Martin Jaks from the Czech Republic claimed victory, 32.3 seconds ahead of Kazakh Alexey Poltaranin. In third was Norwegian Petter Eliasen +1:05.2.
For Jaks, an accomplished World Cup skier, today’s victory was his biggest success since his victory in the World Cup relay with the Czech team in Davos in December. Jaks was part of the Czech relay team that finished third in Falun over the weekend.
Said Jaks “It’s might have looked like an easy start-finish victory, but it was a very tough race. Three rounds here on this track are not so easy – and when you are trying to win you have to give everything — no matter how much it hurts. To be U23 World Champion is very nice and now I can go on to the World Cup to Lahti feeling good!â€
The US men were unable to match the reulst put up by the women;s squad. Mike Sinnott led the Americans with a 37th, +5:04.4. Ben True took 48th, Simeon Hamilton 59th and Tyson Flaharty 64th in the 68 man field.
Brent McMurtry led the way for the Canadian men with a 20th place finish. Other Canadian men’s results included: Chris Butler, of Thunder Bay, Ont., in 29th (46:11.5), Pate Neumann, of Thunder Bay, Ont., in 52nd (49:08.2), and Jesse Winter, of Thunder Bay, Ont., in 62nd (50:37.3).
The conditions in Malles were warm and soft – + 7C degrees, sunny weather, and wet snow in the men’s race.
Tomorrow, on the schedule are the Junior World Championships competition in Mass start over 10 km (ladies) and 20 km (men) in free technique.