Antoine Cyr Eighth at Cross-Country Skiing World Cup in Finland
LAHTI, Fin.—Canada’s Antoine Cyr capped off a breakthrough season with an eighth-place finish in the men’s 20-kilometre mass start classic-ski race in Lahti, Finland on Sunday.
Competing in the final race of the season, the 24-year-old notched his fourth top-10 result on a stellar World Cup campaign with a time of 44:21.4.
“I thought my shape was good, but I also wasn’t sure. It has been a long season and you get tired. Today I had expectations, but I also just wanted to ski my best,” said Cyr. “I knew on a good day I can be up there with those guys. I’m stoked I was able to get my head in a good space and end the season in a good position.”
Cyr was also eighth in 20-kilometre mass start race in France. The Gatineau, Que. skier was fourth in a 15km mass start race and sixth in a sprint race in the final stages of the Tour de Ski in Val di Fiemme, Italy. The 2022 Olympian also teamed up with Graham Ritchie for a fourth-place finish in the team sprint event at the World Championships.
“For sure this is a breakout season. I was not on this level last year. We are knocking on the door, and I believe we will be on the podium soon enough,” said Cyr. “As a skier you know you can be up there, but until you’ve done it you always have doubts. I started to think ‘what is the best result I can do.’ Being in the top-10 a few times we have shown that we are there as a nation.”
He may have saved his best performance for last, finishing just two seconds off the podium and eight seconds behind the final race winner of the 2022-23 campaign.
“This shows we are up there and that is good for the rest of the squad. I hope everyone uses this as a confidence boost and as a tight knit group we will push forward together,” added Cyr. “We have by far the smallest tech group on the World Cup and all of the staff work their butts off. The techs and the staff are a big part of this.”
Norway’s Johannes Klaebo was the man on top of the podium with a time of 44:13.0. His teammate, Paal Golberg, clocked-in at 44:18.4 for the silver medal. Sweden’s William Poromaa won the race for the bronze medal at 44:19.0.
Olivier Léveillé (Sherbrooke, Que.) skied to 20th place with a time of 45:25.5. Russell Kennedy (Canmore, Alta.) raced to the finish line of his career. The 2018 Olympian had a solid final outing, placing 38th at 46:28.2. Xavier McKeever (Canmore, Alta.) was 41st at 46:45.4.
Katherine Stewart-Jones (Chelsea, Que.) was the lone Canadian to finish the women’s race where she finished 37th at 54:10.7. Quebec City’s Liliane Gagnon did not finish.
Norway’s Anne Kalvaa won the women’s 20-kilometre classic-ski race with a time of 51:04.3.