The Canadian Championships have just wrapped up here in Corner Brook, as has the 2013-2014 race season. The week of racing finished as well or better than it started with some exceptional results posted by the YES men.
Skate 15km individual start:
While this race was the weakest results-wise of the week for the championships, it was still a good, hard effort and a test against the best in the country. Knute and Colin again finished within a few seconds of each other in 17th and 18th place, 30 seconds from the top 10.
On a fast, twisty course, Knute won the qualification for the open men and Colin finished 10th. In the heats, Colin was eliminated in his quarterfinal and finished the day in 14th. Knute moved on and skied smart to put himself in the A-final. After gaining a lead up the first climb, Knute maintained his lead until the final 100 meters where a surging Graham Nishikawa took the lead and claimed the gold. Knute finished a career-best 2nd at nationals.
Classic 50km mass start:
The final day of the championships, the hardest race of the week. After a show loop of 5km, the men skied a challenging 7.5km course 6 times. Once again, Alain nailed the wax for us and we had skis that could grip and glide as good or better than anyone else in the race. The pace was relatively slow for the first two laps and then increased with Colin and Graham Nishikawa going to the front and pushing the pace for a lap. The pack began to string out around 25km and a group of 10 or so formed at the front. At 35km, Ivan Babikov attacked and skied away from the group, gaining a 45 second lead on second place. Knute and Colin found themselves skiing strung out between other racers. Skiing the last lap together, Knute finished 1.5 seconds ahead of Colin to finish in 6th and 7th respectively, less than 2 minutes behind the winner.
Knute leading the sprint
Men's sprint final, Graham Nishikawa leading, Knute second
Sprint podium, the Yukon takes 1-2!
Knute skiing on a training day at Blow-Me-Down
Post-50km moose steak.