Vernon, BC – Daria Gaiazova (CAN) posted the fastest qualifying time and skied through the heats to victory in the women's classic sprint at the Sovereign Lake Nordic Center in Vernon, BC.
Gaiazova chose to double pole on skate gear, forgoing kick wax in the new, wet snow.
â€œI surprised myself today and wasn’t sure if my arms would last, but they did last longer than everyone else’s,â€ laughed Gaiazova. â€œI trained very hard over the summer on my weaknesses and double-poling was one area I focused on so this confirms to me my summer training was good.â€
Most of the men's field chose this strategy, but we do not have information on how many of the women opted for double pole only.
Morgan Smyth (USST) finished second with Laura Valaas (APUNSC/USST) in third. A notoriously strong sprinter, Valaas recovered from an uncharacteristically slow qualification round to reach the podium. Her time of 3:10.99 was over 10 seconds behind Gaiazova's.
Andrea Dupont (CAN) finished fourth and early SuperTour leader Shayla Swanson (CAN) took fifth. Sarah Daitch (CAN), the second qualifier rounded out the A-Final in sixth place.
The US Development Team wrapped up a strong day, placing 7th and 8th with Lindsay Williams and Lindsey Dehlin taking the top two spots in the B-Final. Kristina Strandberg (Saab Salmon Factory Team) was 9th.