• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
    • Fantastic Day One for Cross Country

      February 24, 2015

      The first race day for Cross Country was better than ideal with +6C temperatures and a firm hard packed race course. It was a classic technique day. Skiers were on klister grip wax and were challenged by the technical icy downhills. Men raced 10km, women 7.5km and all para athletes raced 2.5km.

      It was a golden day for Yukon skiers winning two gold and one bronze medal.

      Knute Johnsgaard held a commanding lead through out the 10km race and won by nearly 30 seconds over Scott Hill of Ontario. Raphael Couturier who was in silver position at the half way mark, lost some steam in the final 5km to take bronze 35 seconds back of the lead.

      In the women’s 7.5km classic event Annah Hanthorn of Team Yukon followed up her teammates performance by narrowly winning over Quebec’s Katherine Stewart-Jones.  Stewart-Jones was in the lead until a spill on the last downhill forced her into second position just 0.6 seconds back.  Yukon’s, Kendra Murray rounded out the podium in third 14.4 seconds back of Hanthorn.

      In the para sit-ski event, Quebec showed their strength winning gold and bronze. Yves Bourques lead the way 12 seconds ahead of Derek Zaplotinsky of BC and 12.6 seconds ahead of teammate Sebastien Fortier.

      BC’s Para sit skier, Emily Suchy commanded the women’s 2.5km course in 9 minutes and 13 seconds, a full 2 minutes and 16 seconds over Tanya Quesnel of Ontario. Alberta’s Ana Lucas Osma earned bronze.

      Brittany Hudak of Saskatchewan is the new face of Para racing in Canada and proved herself today winning the Para standing event.  Emily Weekes of BC earned silver 46 seconds back and Sochi Para-Olympian, Margarita Gorbounova was third.

      Another Sochi Para Olympic alumni, Louis Fortin got beat by up and comer Andy Lin of BC. Gabriel Denis, a Halifax Canada Winter Games veteran, earned the bronze.

      Racing continues Tuesday with the exciting sprint event. Head to head heat racing starts at 12 noon for able bodied racers with para athletes starting at 2pm.  Qualification begins at 10am with only the top 30 athletes in each of the men’s and women’s categories moving onto the heats.