Quebec’s Laura Leclair and B.C.’s Rémi Drolet dominate on the first day of Canada Games XC Ski action

    February 25, 2019

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    It was a chilly day at the cross-country ski venue, and this caused a three hour delay in the start of the first day of competition for the 2019 Canada Games. The officials had to wait for the thermometer to climb above the -20 deg. C. limit for racing, before the events got underway.

    The men’s race saw 2023 Canada Games host PEI’s, Fidel Wendt as the first person on the course in the men’s 10k, interval-start, classic event. The first lap was a close contest, with Canmore, Alberta’s Reed Godfrey holding a .2 second lead over Rossland, B.C.’s Rémi Drolet on the first of three, 3.3 kilometre loops. Lap two was a different story as Drolet (7th in the 2019 World Junior Championships 30k race) built up a 28 second gap on Godfrey. He added more time to the lead on the third lap, to finish the race with a commanding 52.3 second margin. Parry Sound, Ontario’s, Graham Ritchie, made up over 20 seconds on Godfrey on the final 3k, but finished  a meagre .8 seconds short of silver at the line.Remi-Drolet-Day-1-Gold-photo-Anton-Scheier.jpg
    Remi Drolet

    Rémi Drolet: “The snow wasn’t super fast today because of the cold, but our wax techs did a great job and it was a lot fun”.

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    Chelsea, Quebec skier Laura Leclair, led from start to finish in the classic technique 7.5 k race, to win by a large 28.9 second margin. Second place went to Whistler, B.C.’s Benita Peiffer, who held off a strong challenge on the final lap from Canmore’s Isobel Hendry. Hendry finished 1.8 seconds back, in the bronze medal position.

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    Laura Leclair: “A gold medal at the Canada Games is a good boost to my career. It is great to be with some Quebec athletes I don’t normally train with and to meet with athletes from all the other provinces”.

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    Results

    Day 2 of the competitions are tomorrow with the exciting sprint races, and the first Para-Nordic action of the games. Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate with warmer temperatures.