BiathlonGeneralNewsRacingBiathlon Canada Wraps Up Trials, Selects World Cup and IBU Cup Teams

Brainspiral BrainspiralNovember 15, 20141
Nathan Smith racing to his second-straight win in two races at Biathlon Canada's World Cup/IBU Cup trials in Canmore, Alberta, which determined Canada's teams for World Cups 1, 2 and 3 this winter. Smith was prequalified. (Photo: Justin Brisbane)
Nathan Smith racing to his second-straight sprint win on Friday at Biathlon Canada’s World Cup/IBU Cup trials in Canmore, Alberta, which determined Canada’s teams for early season international races this winter. Smith was prequalified for the World Cup. (Photo: Justin Brisbane)

Canadian World Cup and IBU selection races wrapped up Friday, with some shuffling of finishers making for a very close race for the available international starts. For the second-straight day in a row, the men raced a 10.2-kilometer sprint and the women raced 7.2 k on the modified Frozen Thunder course (with loops of 3.4 k and 2.4 k, respectively).

Mark-Andre Bedard (Team Quebec) shooting a perfect prone on Friday in the second sprint of Biathlon Canada's World Cup/IBU Cup trials. He went on to miss one standing to place third overall and make the World Cup team. (Photo: Justin Brisbane)
Mark-Andre Bedard (Team Quebec) shooting on Thursday in the first sprint of Biathlon Canada’s World Cup/IBU Cup trials. He went on to miss one standing to place third overall and make the World Cup team. (Photo: Justin Brisbane)

The men raced first, with Nathan Smith again claiming the win in 26:30, besting Biathlon Canada teammate Brendan Green in second by 33 seconds. Marc-André Bédard (Team Quebec) took third. All three of the podium finishers had a single miss on the day.

Bédard ended up with the highest-combined race percentage of all athletes who were not pre-selected for the World Cup. The lone male member of Team Quebec competing at the trials in Canmore, Alberta, Bédard said, “I felt like an underdog again.”

Despite opting not to train with the national team this year, he was still able to earn a spot on the early-season World Cup team. Bédard spent most of his summer competing in extreme-obstacle races (like the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships), for which he said he trained the hardest of his career.

“It’s not a surprise for me to have done well [today], but it truly is surprising I made it to the World Cup,” Bédard said after Friday’s race. “I’ve never been able to get on [the World Cup] this early and this year I decided to enjoy the sport and take it as it comes.”

Bédard joins pre-selected athletes Smith and Green, as well as, World Cup veteran Scott Perras on Canada’s World Cup team.

The men’s IBU Cup team is made up of Maxc Davies, Carson Campbell, and brothers Scott and Christian Gow.

Rosanna Crawford (Biathlon Canada) racing to her second-straight victory of Canada's World Cup/IBU Cup trials in Canmore on Friday. She missed two standing, but finished 32 seconds ahead of anyone else for the win. Crawford prequalified for World Cup starts. (Photo: Mark-Andre Bedard shooting a perfect prone on Friday in the second sprint of Biathlon Canada's World Cup/IBU Cup trials. He went on to miss one standing to place third overall and make the World Cup team. (Photo: Justin Brisbane)
Rosanna Crawford (Biathlon Canada) racing to her second-straight victory of Canada’s World Cup/IBU Cup trials in Canmore on Friday. She missed two standing, but finished 32 seconds ahead of anyone else for the win. Crawford prequalified for World Cup starts. (Photo: Mark-Andre Bedard shooting a perfect prone on Friday in the second sprint of Biathlon Canada’s World Cup/IBU Cup trials. He went on to miss one standing to place third overall and make the World Cup team. (Photo: Justin Brisbane)

In the women’s 7.2 k race on Friday, Crawford notched her second-straight victory in 23:50, 32 seconds ahead of Biathlon Canada teammate Audrey Vaillancourt, despite two standing penalties. Vaillancourt had one standing miss and finished 42 seconds ahead of  junior Sarah Beaudry (with one prone and one standing miss) in third.

Vaillancourt was the top woman outside of the pre-selected team, earning her a World Cup start with Crawford and two other national-team members: Zina Kocher and Megan Heinicke.

Starting out the season on the IBU Cup tour are Beaudry, Emma Lunder, Julia Ransom, and Claude Godbout.

Lunder, who is new to the national team as well as the Biathlon Alberta Training Center, wrote in an email that she’s excited to join her new teammates, Ransom and Beaudry, on the IBU Cup this year.

“I’m really excited to be heading overseas to race,” she wrote. “I’m happy with how the trials races went, of course there are a few things I want to work on in the next few weeks, but I’m feeling good about the season!”

Having made her World Cup debut last year, Lunder said she’s motivated to work her way up to the World Cup circuit with her sights set on qualifying for World Championships. If that doesn’t pan out, she added that racing at home for IBU Cups 7 and 8 in Canmore will be her season highlights.

This year, Biathlon Canada chose its early season World Cup/IBU Cup teams through a selection process instead of allocating quota spots off selection races. According to High-Performance Director Christopher Lindsay, the availability of more quality athletes makes creating a strong team more probable. With more Canadian biathletes becoming eligible for international racing by meeting set high-performance standards, Lindsay said both coaches and the high-performance committee could ensure their athletes would be competitive on the world stage.

Friday’s results

The Shakedown

Starting at World Cup 1:
Rosanna Crawford (pre-selected based on meeting Biathlon Canada World-Cup B standard for overall performance in 2013/2014)
Megan Heinicke (selected based on 2013/14 in-season results as ranked by the 2014/2015 AAP and Squads & Teams Criteria List)
Zina Kocher (selected based on 2013-14 in-season results as ranked by the 2014-2015 AAP and Squads & Teams Criteria List; and a combination of key out-of-season time trial and competition results as per NTP)
Audrey Vaillancourt (best percentage at Nov 13-14 Time Trial; and 2013/14 in-season results as ranked by the 2014-2015 AAP and Squads & Teams Criteria List)
Nathan Smith (pre-selected based on meeting Biathlon Canada World-Cup B standard for overall performance in 2013/2014)
Brendan Green (pre-selected based on meeting Biathlon Canada World-Cup B standard for overall performance in 2013/2014)
Marc-André Bédard (best percentage at Nov 13-14 Time Trial outside of the pre-selected athletes)
Scott Perras (selected based on 2013/14 in-season results as ranked by the 2014/2015 AAP and Squads & Teams Criteria List; and a combination of key out-of-season time trial and competition results as per NTP)
***
Selected to IBU Cup Tour 1:
Sarah Beaudry (best percentage at Nov 13-14 Time Trial; and a combination of key out-of-season time trial and competition results as per NTP)
Emma Lunder (best percentage at Nov 13-14 Time Trial; and a combination of key out-of-season time trial and competition results as per NTP)
Julia Ransom (best percentage at Nov 13-14 Time Trial; and a combination of key out-of-season time trial and competition results as per NT )
Claude Godbout (best percentage at Nov 13-14 Time Trial)
Scott Gow (pre-selected based on meeting Biathlon Canada IBU Cup B standard for overall performance in 2013/2014)
Christian Gow (best percentage at Nov 13-14 Time Trial; and a combination of key out-of-season time trial and competition results as per NTP)
Macx Davies (best percentage at Nov 13-14 Time Trial; and a combination of key out-of-season time trial and competition results as per NTP)
Carsen Campbell (based on best percentage at Nov 13-14 Time Trial)
***
Selections for starting spots at World Cups 2 and 3 will be determined based on results from World Cup 1, World Cup 2, IBU Cup 1, IBU Cup 2, the Nov. 13-14 time trials, and NorAm Cup #1.
— above information from Chris Lindsay, Biathlon Canada high-performance director

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