News and information from the northern hemisphere over the Australian summer. Also of the Canberra rollerski event coming up at Easter.
2011 World Championship, Oslo, Norway, February 22 – March 6
The general feedback on the 2011 World Championship in Oslo was that it was the biggest most spectacular World Championship ever held. Over 100,000 spectators were in the stands or out around the track each day for the last weekend of competition, and even the qualification race the day before the first official World Championship medal event had a bigger crowd than most World Cup events in central Europe. Seven Australian athletes competed – Esther Bottomley, Ben Sim, Callum Watson, Ewan Watson, Nick Grimmer, Mark van der Ploeg and Chris Darlington. The competition highlights for the Australian Team were Esther Bottomley’s 44th place in the Sprint Freestyle, the 19th place of Ben Sim and Callum Watson in the Team Sprint, and the 10km qualification race in which Mark van der Ploeg and Ewan Watson finished 4th and 6th. The lowlight was the overlapping of the men’s relay team before Mark van der Ploeg had a chance to start to the final leg. Waxing conditions were the most challenging the team has experienced probably since the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, not with grip waxing as can often be the case but from the glide perspective. The overall summary: Great atmosphere, incredible event, some solid results, it would have nice to have some faster skis and higher results in a couple of the distance events.
Most of the team athletes are now back in Australia, with the exception of Esther Bottomley who finished a very creditable 14th in the Engadin Ski Marathon two weeks ago and plans to race the Swiss Championship next weekend.
More details from the World Championship can be viewed on the AUS XC Website.
National Rollerski Event, Canberra, April 23-24
On the Easter weekend of April 23-24 Ski Australia is organising some rollerski events in Canberra. While there are still some details to be sorted out with ACT Roads and the land managers, the preliminary schedule of events is as follows:
Saturday April 23
10:00 am – 3.3km Uphill Classic Time Trial – Mt Stromlo Road
2:00 pm – Freestyle Criterium – Canberra Institute of Technology, Bruce
Saturday April 24
10:00 am – 3.3km Uphill Freestyle Event – Mt Stromlo Road
More details will be available soon on the AUS XC Website.
Ben Theyerl was born into a family now three-generations into nordic ski racing in the US. He grew up skiing for Chippewa Valley Nordic in his native Eau Claire, Wisconsin, before spending four years racing for Colby College in Maine. He currently mixes writing, politics, and skiing (not necessarily all related) while based out of Crested Butte, CO, where he coaches the best group of high schoolers one could hope to find.