Devon Kershaw (CAN) qualified in 5th and Sara Renner (CAN) in 20th to advance the heats in Tour de Ski sprint action this morning in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. Dario Cologna (SUI), the overall leader of the men’s Tour posted the fastest qualifying time in the 1.2km freestyle event. Magda Genuin (ITA) led the women’s field.
Axel Teichmann (GER) who currently is second overall qualified in 21st. This is extremely important to Teichmann. He failed to qualify in the first sprint, and he lost significant ground, as Cologna, among others, picked up bonus seconds. By making the top-30, Teichmann guarantees that he cannot lose more than 1:04 to Cologna. And that assumes he finishes 30th.
There were no other major surprises. Lukas Bauer (CZE) and Andrus Veerpalu (EST), who have climbed in the standings recently, did not qualify as expected. All other competitors for a top positoin advanced to the top-30, and other than lane choice, the qualification round is now basically irrelevant for the overall standings.
Canadians George Grey and Ivan Babikov did not qualify, finishing 36th and 54th respectively.
Heats are starting imminently.