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    • Haywood RACE Report: Russell Kennedy 12th at Cogne, World Cup

      February 16, 2019

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      The last weekend of World Cup racing, before the World Championships, got underway today in Cogne, Italy. There was sunny skis and +5 deg. temperatures, but the course was hard and fast as the temperatures were below freezing overnight.

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      Some of the top racers were missing from the field as they were coming off their National Championships races and finetuning their final preparations for Seefeld.

      Switzerland's Nadine Faehndrich was the top qualifier, with the Canadians missing the top 30 and a 1/4 final berth. Dahria Beatty was the top Canadian in 38th, with Cendrine Browne 48th, Maya Macisaac-Jones 49th and Katherine Stewart-Jones 51st.

      Local favourite Federico Pellegrino of Italy was the top male and Russell Kennedy had a great race, qualifying for the heats for Canada in 12th place (6th after .9k). Alex Harvey was 48th and Evan Palmer-Charrette was 59th.

      Qualifying results: Women Men

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      Qualifier: 16.02.2019, Cogne, Italy (ITA): Russell Kennedy (CAN) - FIS world cup cross-country, individual sprint, Cogne (ITA). www.nordicfocus.com. © Thibaut/NordicFocus.

      Russell was drawn in the first quarter-final, which saw Sergey Ustiugov and Federico Pellegrino set a blistering pace off the start. Russell skied in around 5th place in contact with the leaders as the race progressed. Part way through Ustiugov seemed to step on Pellegrino's skis and went down hard.

      Russell crossed the line 4th and ended up as a "lucky loser" due to the blistering pace of the 1/4 final.



      In the semis Russell tried a different tactic. He had been 6th fastest at the .9k mark in qualifying, so led from the start, up until the 1/2-way point. It was a good effort, but Russell faded over the 2nd half of the course to finish 6th, but still faster than the skiers in the 2nd semi-final.



      In the final Pellegrino was the winner for Italy and Russell finished 12th overall. In the women's race the USA's Jessica Diggins was the victor.

      This was a great race for Russell, his first time scoring World Cup points and bodes well for his performances for next week's World Championships. His previous best result was 36th in Quebec City in 2017.

      Results: Women Men

      Next up tomorrow, 10 and 15k classic races.

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