Sunday, 18 March 2012

City Team Sprint and More Excitement!

Big start the Canadian Nationals yesterday! I woke up to read over breakfast that Lenny Valjas got his first world cup distance podium AND Canadian mountain bikers Emily Batty and Catherine Pendrel had finished second and third in their first world cup of the season in South Africa. As if I wasn't stoked enough already for the team sprint, Canadians went ahead and won 3 world cup medals elsewhere in the world that morning, how inspiring and exciting! 

Canadian girls 2nd & 3rd in MTB WC. AWESOME start to an Olympic summer!

The first race of Canadian Nationals was the club team sprint. The host club, Mont Sainte Anne, had arranged for the race to be a city sprint on the Plaines of Abraham in Old Quebec City which was a fun treat. The atmosphere was great and it was cool to race in an urban setting. Each team consists of 2 skiers (from the same club) who each ski 3 laps of a 1k course, tagging off to each other between each lap. My race partner was Perianne Jones, Olympian, WC medalist and Nakkertok skier. Needless to say, I felt like I really had to bring my A-game to this race.

Start of the Team Sprint final. Check out all that yellow for Nakkertok.  
Since there were so many women's teams everyone skied a qualification heat to try and win a spot in the final. We were able to ski relaxed in qualification and move through to the final with some energy to spare. Nakkertok had 2 more women's teams in the second qualification heat who also skied through to the finals. This made for 3 of the 12 teams in the final being from Nakkertok which was totally rad. No other clubs had 2 or more teams in the women's final!

Race course view on the Plaines of Abraham, definitely enough snow.

We controlled the race from the start and gradually pulled away from the field. There were tons of people out watching and cheering which made for a pretty much perfect day. My mom is even here for the first few days of Nationals so I was extra excited that we had such a great race for her to see! Mad thanks to the Univeristy of Guelph/Toronto teams who were doing an absolutely badass job of cheering up and around the far hill on course! I wish I had a photo of that crowd to add.

Canadian Team Sprint Canmore Nordic, Nakkertok, Foothills
Nakkertok wrapped up the day with medals in the Challenge girls, Open Men and Open Women's categories and lots of teams in the finals. This is a great start and I'm so happy to be here and part of the fun! Racing action continues tomorrow with short distance classic races back at Mont Sainte Anne.

Oh, AND Devon Kershaw was finished second today in the world cup final mini-tour, Alex Harvey was 6th and DJ Lenny Valjas was 14th. It's a good time to be a Canadian Skier!

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