While the course is getting positive reviews, it is a tough one. Following the event Skar said, “I knew this race was my best chance at Otepaa to be the champion. I knew I had to fight from the very first 100 meters to the end. It am very happy to be the champion. That’s amazing,”.
Weeger was not disappointed by winning the silver medal. “I began this race slowly (and built into it)….My skis were very fast. I didn’t expect to be on the podium,” he commented.
The top American was Alaska skier, Scott Patterson, now racing for UVM, in 28th. Head coach of the US Junior Ski Team squad in Estonia, Matt Whitcomb, described Patterson’s race to SkiTrax in a phone interview. “I just talked with him,” said Whitcomb, “Scott said he felt off the mark in today’s race. He said he went out poorly, it was cold and that he felt flat. But, I’ll tell you, to be flat and off the mark and still finish in the top thirty is pretty good. He can be in the top ten in this event.”
Denver’s Andrew Dougherty placed 49th, Erik Bjornsen from Mazama, WA was 57th and George Cartwright (NMU) was tied in 76th.
Andy Shields from Waterloo lead the Canadian men in 49th with a time of 26:20.3, followed by Canmore Nordic’s Russ Kennedy in 50th, Jordan Cascagnette (Team Hardwood) in 64th, and Adam Gillmor from Rocky Mountain Racers in 68th.
“Overall, I think our men had an average day,” Canadian coach Eric de Nys told SkiTrax by email. “There are tough shoes to fill with our last crop of juniors and the likes of Alex Harvey and Fred Touchette. Our target is still the podium but we’re not at that point yet.
“Andy started very fast but just couldn’t maintain the pace. After skiing the 17th fastest on the first lap, he started to fade and ended up 49th and wasn’t happy with his effort. His favourite race is the pursuit and he’s looking forward to it. Russell skied consistently and overall was happy with his effort while Jordan said he felt okay about his race. Aaron wasn’t overly pleased with his day and feels he can do better. The focus now is the upcoming races.”
Thirty-five nations are taking part in the FIS World Junior and U-23 World Nordic Championships. This year’s championships mark the first time they have live television coverage on EuroSport 2.
Full results HERE.