• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
    • Haywood RACE Report: Men's 15 Classic Preview, FIS Release Womens 10k

      February 28, 2011

       Copy of Haywood-proc 3.jpg
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      With a lineup of Len Valjas, Ivan Babikov, George Grey and Stefan Kuhn set for the 15k classic it is obvious that Justin Wadsworth is pullling out all the stops, in order to give Canada the best chance for a team sprint medal in the men's race.

      Alex Harvey and Devon Kershaw will be rested for the 15k, an event which is historically one of Devon's strongest events. Likely the aim is to ensure they are well recovered from the pursuit and ready to go for the podium in the team sprint. 

      It is tough to ski all events at the World Championships well and Devon and Alex will be joined on the sidelines by Petter Northug who is sitting out the 15k to be optimally prepared for the team sprint. http://www.fiscrosscountry.com/news/petter-northug-sits-out-tomorrow-15-classic,1999.html

      Devon's thoughts via Twitter on the 15k:
      Sitting out the 15km tomorrow. Hard, hard decision. Schedule is too tight & I want to be 100% ready to fight hard in the team sprint.

      and his 30k performance
      That was interesting...I attacked too early, and got caught in traffic late... Bummer dude. Body is feeling way better though

      Ivan Babikov's thoughts via Twitter on the 15k:
      Going to be tough race day for me tomorrow, 15km classic, not my best side but I'll roll with it.

      and his 30k performance:
      Good day for our team, I got 15th, felt pretty good till the end, but got stuck in the traffic. Few more races to go

      Women's 10k FIS press release:
      With the time of 27:39.3 Marit Bjeorgen edged out Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland by +4.1 seconds. Defending World Champion Aino Kaisa Saarinen proved again to be excellent classic technique specialist and won bronze medal.

      Justyna Kowalczyk started with the highest bib and had the advantage of complete information about what was happening in the race. The Polish ace started very strong and tried to surprise Marit Bjoergen. After 2.2 km Kowalczyk was in a clear lead by +9.6 seconds. Defending World Champion from Liberec 2009 Aino Kaisa Saarinen was third +15.5 sec behind Kowalczyk.

      At the 7.0 km mark Justyna Kowalczyk still maintained the lead and was by +8.3 seconds faster than Marit Bjoergen. However, the best Polish Cross-Country skier and Tour de Ski 2011 winner could not keep up the high pace all the way to the finish In the pre-finish was the Polish star only 1.9 sec ahead of the double World Champion Marit Bjoergen. The Norwegian was hammering strong in the last 2 km of the race.

      She had caught Marianna Longa of Italy earlier in the race and they came in the stadium together. Marit Bjoergen crossed the finish and the clock stopped at 27:39.3 sec. Justyna Kowalczyk was come strong from behind but was +4.1 sec too slow and claimed second silver medal at these World Championships. Finland’s Aino Kaisa Saarinen led the Finnish squad and captured bronze medal.

      Bjoergen’s compatriot and bronze medalist from 15 km Pursuit Therese Johaug finished fourth +23.7 sec behind the winner. Finnish ladies’ team did very well today with Krista Lahteenamaki on 5th, Pirjo Muranen on 6th and Kerttu Niskanen on 8th place.

      Quotes

      Marit Bjoergen NOR

      I really had to work hard for the victory today. I was told I was only 2 seconds behind Kowalczyk towards the end. Then I just went for it. I'm touched. I must admit I shed a few tears. Justyna started very strong. At 7.0 km she was 8 seconds ahead but towards the end of the race she slowed down. When I was only 2 seconds behind I could not believe it was true. Marianna Longa helped me a lot when I caught her. She was pushing very hard.

      Justyna Kowalczyk POL

      It was a good race. Very tough. I was 8 seconds ahead of Marit Bjoergen early on, but I was so tired in the last 3 km. I had very good information from my team and also from others alongside on the course. I was focused on my skiing. I'm very pleased with winning the sliver medal.

      Aino Kaisa Saarinen FIN

      This was my best performance this season and I'm happy with the bronze. The crowd was so loud I couldn't even hear what my coach was saying. I had a difficult season with a shoulder injury only 6 days before Gaellivare. Our service team did excellent job today. Of course I started in the race with the aim to win but Marit and Justyna were very strong.