Katherine Stewart-Jones Leads Canucks at Lillehammer World Cup
LILLEHAMMER, Nor.—Katherine Stewart-Jones is content with her early season progress following a 26th place finish in a 10-kilometre individual start skate-ski race on a punishing course in Lillehammer, Norway.
“I struggled last year on this course. It is definitely more of a power course with shorter climbs and a lot of working terrain, so I decided to focus more on the downhills, corners and stadium section,” said Stewart-Jones, who is from Chelsea, Que.
The feisty 27-year-old dug deep while taking on the World Cup monster, pacing herself well and taking advantage of good skis for the second-straight individual start race to clock a time of 24:59.6.
“I’ve struggled with pacing and the mental side of individual start races, but I’m proud of how I executed my race plan,” the 2022 Olympian had said following her first individual start last weekend. “I am in good shape right now, but I know that I can keep building into the season.”
Stewart-Jones finished just over a minute off the leading pace of 23:49.5 on the three-kilometre loop set by American Jessie Diggins.
Germany’s Katharina Hennig made a late surge to clock a silver-medal time of 23:53.3. Norway’s Heidi Weng posted a bronze-medal winning time of 24:04.9.
Dahria Beatty, of Whitehorse, skied to 40th spot with a time of 25:50.7.
A trio of Canadians hit the start line for the men’s 10-kilometre individual start skate-ski race.
The youngest member of the team – 21-year-old Olivier Léveillé, of Sherbrooke, Que. – finished just outside the elite group of 30, posting a time of 22:10.8 for 36th place.
Antoine Cyr, of Gatineau, Que., finished 46th in his first start of the season. The 24-year-old stopped the clock at 22:23.5. Graham Ritchie, of Parry Sound, Ont., rounded out the Canadian contingent in 51st at 22:30.2.
The Norwegians dominated the men’s race nine of the top-10 spots on the results sheet including a podium sweep. Iver Andersen captured the gold with a time of 21:12.6. Didrik Toenseth was second at 21:15.4, while Hans Holund crossed the line in third at 21:21.7.
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