The NorAm weekend at Duntroon, Ontario, continued Saturday with an individual start 10km classic race, the opening half of the first two day pursuit at this level in many years.
The two day pursuit race format was replaced in 2002 with the same-day pursuit. This is the event in which Beckie Scott famously won all three medals at the Salt Lake Olympics. In 2003, the skiathlon format was introduced under the name ‘continuous pursuit’ which was later shortened to ‘pursuit’ before FIS acquired the rights to the name ‘skiathlon’.
In the summer of 2018, FIS dropped the skiathlon format, which brings us back to a format that most of the athletes racing today will not remember. In keeping with the spirit of change, men and women raced the same distance today, 10km, in relatively pleasant weather described by the jury as -9C and 37km/h winds.
Nakkertok’s Zoë Williams won for the second consecutive day in 35:46.09. Mia Serratore (Big Thunder) moved up one place to take second, 37.82 seconds back, to trade places with Laura Leclair (CNEPH) at 1:18.40. Annika Richardson (TBay) just missed the podium, 0.18 seconds behind Leclair.
Alexis Dumas (CNEPH) won the men’s race in 30:04.08, 16.67 seconds ahead of Andy Shields (Lappe) and 21.57 ahead of Philippe Boucher (CNEPH).
Sunday’s race is a 15km skate pursuit for both genders, using only the time differences from Saturday. Unlike the mini-tour format, no bonus seconds are given to the first three finishers and Friday’s sprint doesn’t count.
The wave starts at 12 minutes on the 7.5km loop.
The combination of an unusual format and the potential for rain should make for an interesting final day.