Canadian National Ski TeamWorld CupNotes and Quotes: Liberec World Cup

Avatar Alex KochonJanuary 14, 2013

Oh Liberec, oh Liberec, before we say so long … here’s what didn’t quite fit into last weekend’s recaps of the World Cup classic sprints and team sprints in the Czech Republic. Disclaimer: It’s Canadian- and female-heavy.

 

An excited Dasha Gaiazova at the women's 0.85 k World Cup classic sprint in Liberec, Czech Republic. The Canadian was fourth for a career best and narrowly missed the podium in a photo finish. (Chandra Crawford photo)
An excited Dasha Gaiazova at the women’s 0.85 k World Cup classic sprint in Liberec, Czech Republic. The Canadian was fourth for a career best and narrowly missed the podium in a photo finish. (Chandra Crawford photo)

On World Cup prep:

“We were in Oberwiesenthal [Germany] last week racing an OPA Cup just to get the cobwebs out and get rid of the jetlag, which I think really helped. We all felt pretty terrible last weekend so it was nice to come here and feel good and, having done the race last weekend, feel like we were ready to go on the World Cup. – Perianne Jones, Canadian National Ski Team (CNST), 9th in classic sprint for World Cup individual best

 

On tactics:

“[In my quarterfinal] I made sure I was kind of behind everyone on the big downhill and I made sure to get my own track coming up the last hill and was kind of made a bit of a move there to pass most people because it was kind of hairy. With just one lap, there’s a big corner at the bottom of the big hill and everyone would kind of get clumped together then you shoot right up into an uphill. It was interesting.” – Jones

 

On kicking off the New Year with a personal best:

“I think it’s a good start after Christmas. You’re always a little unsure, when none of us did the Tour, just coming here and racing, we’ve been away from it for a little while, but it’s good to have a good first race back and now we can really look forward to the rest of the season. There’s a bunch more classic sprints, World Championships is a classic sprint so I’m pretty pumped about that.” – Jones

 

On the big picture:

“The World Cup is so competitive that we have to be excited with improvement and stay focused on making small gains.” – Ida Sargent, U.S. Ski Team (USST), 7th in team sprint with Sadie Bjornsen

“I thought that I raced pretty strong and I was able to catch back every round a few spots and stay closer to the front. Unfortunately we missed advancing to the final by one-hundredth of a second.” – Dasha Gaiazova (CNST), 11th in team sprint with Jones

“It was bad luck today, but a very good weekend for the team. We have good bodies and good speed so the girls will build a lot of confidence from the results here.” – CNST Women’s Coach Eric de Nys (as told to Cross Country Canada)

 

On team-sprint tempo:

“The pace was pushing the entire time. Because it was such a short course, people were going hard the entire way.The final leg was of course the hardest, and teams began to really hit top gear. – Sadie Bjornsen (USST), 7th with Sargent

 

On team momentum:

Alex Harvey tweeted a photo of the skiing in Praz de Lyz on Saturday. (Twitter.com/alex_harvey)
Alex Harvey tweeted a photo of the skiing in Praz de Lyz, France, on Saturday. (Twitter.com/alex_harvey)

“In general, we have just such good momentum for the whole team. Everybody’s working so well together, coaches are super invested in all the athletes; it’s just a fun group to be part of and we just are all feeding off each other’s positive energy and elevating each other. It’s always nice to see the boys do so well last week in the Tour de Ski and sort of feed off that success as well.” – Gaiazova (after career-best 4th in Saturday’s classic sprint)

 

On conditions:

“[Friday during training] it was so crappy and so windy, and the tracks were terrible. [Saturday], even though it maybe didn’t look great on TV, it was a huge step up. It was night and day. The tracks were way better and it wasn’t nearly as windy so we felt pretty lucky when we got out there.” – Jones

 

On taking a three-day vacation in Hurghada, Egypt:

“I don’t think I’ll ever go back. It was a little bit of a sketchy place but it made for a pretty interesting trip. It was fun.” – Lenny Valjas (CNST), 10th in classic sprint

 

On where the rest of the Canadians were:

“Alex [Harvey] just got to Praz de Lys [France]. He’s doing some training there and Devon [Kershaw] will be there shortly, too. Everyone’s slowly meeting in Praz de Lys. We’re all gonna be there on Monday; the whole team will be back together. Right now [Harvey, Kershaw and Ivan Babikov] decided to skip this and focus on training.” – Valjas (on Saturday)

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Alex Kochon

Alex Kochon (alex@fasterskier.com) is the former managing editor at FasterSkier. She spent seven years with FS from 2011-2018, and has been writing, editing, and skiing ever since. She's making a cameo in 2020.

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