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.
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.