Antoine Cyr Storms into Top-10 at Cross-Country Skiing World Cup in France
LES ROUSSES, Fra.—Canada’s Antoine Cyr returned to the World Cup circuit with a solid eighth-place finish in the men’s 20-kilometre mass start classic-ski race in the Les Rousses, France on Sunday.
Competing in his first race following a recovery period from the epic seven-race Tour de Ski over the holiday season, the 24-year-old notched his third top-10 finish of the season with a time of 50:07.5.
Each of those performances have come in January. Cyr 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.
“I am really happy with today’s race. I wanted to see where I was at before the World Championships and I feel like I am I good shape,” said Cyr.
The Gatineau, Que. product must be a sucker for punishment.
After completing the grind of the Tour de Ski that tests the world’s best Nordic skiers with a climb up an alpine ski run in the final stage, Cyr faced an equally difficult challenge in France.
“It was a really, really hard course. There was one steep hill that was about a 25 per cent grade,” said Cyr. “The rest of the course had long, gradual climbs and descents so it was quite tough.”
Cyr skied comfortably at the front of the pack with multiple Olympic and World Championships until the midway point of the six-lap race when the frontrunners surged to chase a bonus sprint within the third lap.
“I kind of forgot about the bonus, but I stuck with them and stayed near the front,” added Cyr. “They went again (in the fifth lap) and that’s when I ended up ski my own.”
Cyr gave everything he had in the final 3.5-kilometre loop, crossing the line in eighth place.
Norway’s Johannes Klaebo continued his golden run finishing on top of a three-man sprint to the finish.
The Tour de Skier winner stretched across the finish in a time of 49:29.1.
Klaebo topped Iivo Niskanen and William Poromaa at the line. Finland’s Niskanen stopped the clock at 49:30.3 for second. Sweden’s Poromaa was third at 49:30.4.