March 24, 2012 (Mont Ste-Anne, QC) – Chandra Crawford pulled out all the stops to claim her first national distance title attacking late in the women’s 30km CL race to solo in for the gold. Three other contenders challenged the Canmore sprinter who’s upped her game as both a classic and distance skier fending off two Norwegians, Britt Ingunn Nydal who finished second and Ragnhild Haga in third, along with team mates Daria Gaiazova and Perianne Jones – results and live race updates here. SkiTrax caught up with the top skiers at the finishline…
Chandra Crawford – GOLD
How many 30km races to your career ?
CC: Probably my sixth. The last one was in Oslo, Norway last year.
Were you nervous this morning ?
CC: I was super psyched, didn’t sleep much last night. Jet lag has something to do with it.
How was the race for you today ?
CC: Awesome race. Should have attacked sooner. Was my ‘secret’ goal to win today. Really had fun out there.
What are your plans going forward ?
CC: Time to get dressed up for tonight. Then heading down to Vermont and race the US Spring Series.
You’re not burned out ?
CC: Heck no, I feel lucky to be able to race again next week. Especially when I’ve been adopted by the Alaska Pacific University Team – staying with them. They’re always fired up to have a good time.
Norway’s Britt Ingunn Nydal and Ragnhild Haga – 2nd and 3rd
Cross Country Canada invited the two Norwegians who have been here since Monday arriving on the same flights as the National Team. Both are on Norway’s U23 Team, but didn’t qualify to race in Falun, Sweden so they were able to fly to Canada for their first visit to North America
Are you enjoying your stay here?
BI: We’re very pleased to be here – very nice skiing, and very nice people.
Will they be back next December for the World Cup ?
BI: Oh, we don’t know – it will be hard. There are very many good skiers at home.
How was the race course today ?
BI: It was a good race – good conditions and good grip. We classic skied most of the hills and herriboned on a few short climbs. It was a fast course.
You skied as a pack of four up until the last lap – who lead the break to the finish ?
BI: Chandra broke away with such a strong double pole, I couldn’t keep up.
RH: Britt went after her, she was stronger than me.
Dasha Gaiazova – SILVER
How’s is going… ?
DG: It’s been a great week! Amazing weather… the Sprint course was the highlight of the week. The crowds were incredible and even a helicopter…I was worried I wouldn’t hear the start gun.
How close was the chopper?
A. Very close – just above my head This was really fun.
How was your season… ?
DG: Have been on the road since Jan 1st – for the last five months and only home for two weeks. Tommorrow I go home and crash. I was worried I couldn’t pull off racing at Nationals, as I was quite burned out, but I’m so glad to have been here, and super happy to have raced the 30km today – my first of the season.
How did you feel this morning ?
DG: This morning when my alarm went off, I was really tired (jet lagged). Didn’t feel right. Then got to the race course and saw the fast tracks – I perked right up. The course held up for half the race. Then it warmed up and it softened up. I had no idea how to pace myself. Just wanted to make sure I had enough energy for the last 7 km. Felt good. Last loop, I realized that when Chandra broke away, I didn’t quite pace myself enough – I had nothing left to chase her.
What was the highlight of these Nationals ?
DG: The people were crazy in the woods cheering everywhere and chanting our NAMES – never happened in Canada.
Perianne Jones – BRONZE
How do you feel now ?
PJ: Exhausted, but so happy it’s over
How did your game plan pan out ?
PJ: I lost contact on the 3rd lap and concentrated on my technique to keep it together, and focus on not waste any energy. There was no-one around me so that made it hard. I had to really dig-in to stay focused and push.
How was your wax ?
PJ: My wax held up awesome. The tracks were non-existing in places. I had to watch for the icy sections and ski outside the tracks… the snow was really getting dirty.
Marliss Kromm – 12th
How did your week go…?
MK: Fantastic week. Organizers have done such a great job with this challenging weather, and slushy snow conditions. They made the right decisions – there was good communication and no surprises. Thank you ! Now it’s time to get dressed up for the banquet ! last night we already had a AB World Cup Academy fashion show Time to celebrate