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Olivier Léveillé (Sherbrooke, Que.) had a solid day, finishing 31st. The fourth-fastest athlete on the day under the age of 23, Léveillé stopped the clock at 41:01.3. Russell Kennedy (Camore, Alta.) skied to 42nd spot at 42:02.5. Sam Hendry (Canmore, Alta.) placed 46th at 42:20.4, while Remi Drolet (Rossland, B.C.) was 54th for the second-straight day with a time of 44:02.1.

Feeding off Cyr’s breakthrough results, Katherine Stewart-Jones celebrated one of her own on the elite international cross-country ski circuit.

The 27-year-old battled up and down the demanding hills of the spectacular Val di Fiemme track to post her first career top-10 finish.

“I am stoked. I’ve been close a couple of times and I didn’t want to go for anything less than a top-10 today,” said Stewart-Jones.

The leader of the Canadian women’s program punched the clock at 45:02.9.

“I told myself going into the race that I may as well go for it. I wanted to ski well for the first couple of laps. It was a fast course. I played it tactically well. I definitely went for better grip (wax) today over the climbs. This feels pretty awesome,” added the 2022 Olympian from Chelsea, Que.

A consistent all-around skier, Stewart-Jones has been regularly delivering personal-best results in the first year of the new Olympic quadrennial while eyeing down the opportunity to demonstrate her potential while on stage at her first Tour de Ski.

“I know that my fitness is the best it has ever been and I’m at a level that I know on a good day I can be up there with the best, so my confidence is high,” said Stewart-Jones who was committed to playing the long game on the Tour that is the ultimate test of mental and physical fitness.

“I was so close to top 10s in period 1 (on the World Cup) that I felt I had it in me. I am more of an endurance athlete, and I felt I had an opportunity later in the Tour because I do well under fatigue. I knew I just had to be patient.”

Germany’s Katharina Hennig won the sixth stage with a time of 44:26.7. Sweden’s Frida Karlsson maintained her overall lead on the Tour de Ski with a second-place finish at 44:27.4. Finland’s Kerttu Niskanen skied to third place at 44:27.5.

Canada’s Dahria Beatty (Whitehorse) was 37th at 50:05.5.

The energy is high on the young Canadian squad as they ready themselves for the final test of the Tour – a 10-kilometre skate-ski pursuit race with the final three kilometres straight up Alpe Cermis which boasts a 28 per cent hill grade to determine the King and Queen of cross-country skiing.

“It is really cool when we all do well. The staff work so hard to give us fast skis, so everyone gets so excited (when we have good results),” said Stewart-Jones, who sits 18th overall. “We are exciting heading into the final stage. I know it will be painful, but I am going into it with an open mind. There is an easy section before the climb, but I don’t want to waste any energy. Tomorrow will be about who has the legs, but who can tolerate the most pain.”

Modeled after the Tour de France in cycling, the 17th annual Tour de Ski is the ultimate test of fitness to determine the king and queen of cross-country skiing. The seven-race Tour through three countries in Central Europe tests the world’s best cross-country skiers in all race formats, culminating with a 425-metre climb to the top of Alpe Cermis in Val di Fiemme, Italy on January 8.

Complete Results:

Nordiq Canada is the governing body of para nordic and cross-country skiing in Canada, which is the nation’s optimal sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually. Its 60,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Swix, Lanctôt Sports and Pembroke – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium, Nordiq Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic and world champions. For more information on Nordiq Canada, please visit us at https://nordiqcanada.ca.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

Chris Dornan

Media and Public Relations

Nordiq Canada

T: 403-620-8731