Monday Race Rundown: U23 Worlds Classic Sprint (Updated)

FasterSkier FasterSkierJanuary 21, 2019
Moa Lundgren of Sweden out lunges Norway’s Tiril Udnes Weng for the win during the U23 World championship 1.4 k classic sprint in Lahti, Finland. (Photo: Doug Stephen)

FIS Junior World Ski Championhips U23 1.4 k/1.6 k Classic Sprint

Link to U23 classic sprint photo album from Doug Stephen.

Monday, the second day of racing at the 2019 Junior World Ski Championships in Lahti, Finland the U23 women raced a 1.4-kilometer classic sprint.

Norway’s Tiril Udnes Weng set the standard in qualification. Her 3:26.52 minute time placed her in bib 1 for the heats.

Three U.S. skiers qualified for the heats. Julia Kern qualified in 16th (+9.09), Hannah Halvorsen 24th (+11.89), and Hailey Swirbul 25th (+12.31). The fourth U.S. entrant, Evelina Sutro placed 37th overall.

“Though it wasn’t a perfect day for the U23s, it was exciting to establish a baseline from which we can improve,” Swirbul emailed. “We were in the mix during the quarterfinals, and I think our team gave a good effort today but is left wanting more. Personally, I thought I had a good day. I felt good, had good skis, and raced to my strengths the best I could. I’m excited to see how this team and I progress over the next few years to keep moving up and up in the U23 division!”

Halvorsen skied in the second heat where she placed fifth (+2.39) behind heat winner Moa Lundgren. Lundgren posted a 3:24.60 finishing time in the heat and ultimately placed first overall. Halvorsen ranked 23rd in the final standings.

Swirbul and Kern were grouped in the third heat where they finished fifth and sixth respectively. France’s Delphine Claudel won the heat in 3:27.16, Swirbul was 1.31 seconds back, Kern 3.24.

Swirbul placed 24th overall, Kern 27th.  

“It was a really cold day out there racing at the legal limit of -4F,” Kern emailed. “It was not the day I dreamed of, but I am looking forward to more races to come this week. I caught the tip of my ski on someone’s pole cornering the first 180 and took a fall. I was able to jump back up on my feet and hammer to catch up, but that energy cost me early on that I did not have cresting the last hill. It was really fun to get to race side by side with Hailey in the heat!”

For Canada, Sadie White finished 35th, Marie Corriveau 38th, Hannah Mehain 49th, and Natalie Hynes 55th.

Lundgren, who was the fourth fastest qualifier, won the women’s final in 3:18.33, only 0.05 seconds ahead of Weng in second. Russia’s Aida Bayazitova took third (+3.78). Anastasia Kirillova of Belarus was fourth (+4.12), Norway’s Amalie Haakonsen fifth (+7.75), and Johanna Hagstroem sixth (+37.54).

Women’s Qualification Results | Women’s Final Standings

The men raced a 1.6 k classic sprint course with Norway’s Erik Valnes posting the fastest qualifying time of 3:23.80 minutes. Valnes already has two World Cup podiums both from the recent Dresden, Germany World Cup weekend. He won the team sprint along with Sindre Bjørnestad Skar. The day prior to his team sprint win, Valnes placed third in the skate sprint.

After racing on a slightly bigger World Cup stage, Valnes showed no nerves as he clean-sweeped the heats and the final which he won in 3:21.14 minutes. Russia’s Sergey Ardashev placed second (+1.38) and Norway’s Joachim Aurland third (+2.00).

In fourth place was Russia’s Ivan Yakimushkin (+2.59), Norway’s Sivert Wiig in fifth (+7.31), and Sweden’s Marcus Grate sixth (+15.53).

Canada placed three athletes in the heats after Ritchie Graham qualified in 19th (+12.32), Julian  Smith 22nd (+13.39), and Antoine Cyr 24th (+13.84). Teammate Gareth Williams finished 52nd overall.

For the U.S., Peter Holmes advanced to the heats after qualifying in 20th (+13.05). Daniel Streinz placed 41st overall, Hunter Wonders 56th, and Braden Becker 63rd.

“It was a good day out in Lahti, sunny skies but brutally cold,” emailed Holmes. “The Junior’s performance the previous day amped me up and made me excited to race. I had a solid qualifier and was feeling very good in the quarter final. I was positioned well throughout the race, but unfortunately got tangled up with another skier in my heat on the last downhill and went down. It’s a bummer, especially at U23s, but that’s racing.”

No North Americans advanced beyond the quarterfinals. Holmes placed sixth in the first quarterfinal to conclude his day ranked 27th in the final standings.

Cyr was fourth in the second heat and placed 20th overall.

Smith and Graham were fourth and sixth respectively in heat four. Smith ranked 19th overall,  Graham 26th.

Men’s Qualification Results | Men’s Results

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