March 24, 2012 (Mont Ste-Anne, QC) – Alex Harvey and Devon Kershaw capped their season crossing the finishline together arm in arm as they shared the limelight in the men’s 50km Classic, the final race of the 2012 Haywood Ski Nationals at Mont Ste-Anne, QC. The crowds loved the story book ending to their stellar season as Canada’s top WCup stars were feted during an incredible week of racing that featured the nation’s best xc skiers – here’s a selection of quotes and photos from the men’s race – results and live race updates here.
You weren’t planning to race … why did you ?
DK: I was feeling pretty tired, but with the energy here in Quebec, I couldn’t sit on the side lines and watch. Skiing with Alex in his backyard was too much fun to pass up on.
Ivan Babikov chirped in…
IB: We are already on holidays with this week’s momentum making ski racing SO MUCH FUN. We’re all skiing on adrenaline. Love the weather, the snow and these amazing Canadian spectators that are treating us as so well. We couldn’t let ’em down.
Are you pleased with today’s race ?
IB: Oh yes, I pushed the pace on the 3rd lap (after Alex and Devon stopped for a pee) to crank it up a notch. This is when Devon started to have fun and gave’r. Alex stayed with Devon, and I didn’t quite believe they’d break away as far as they did. Then I was then in the chase group.
Happy with the bronze medal?
IB: To share the podium with these two amazing guys is the best finish I could ask for this season.
DK: Ivan’s had some bad luck this year.
DK: He crashed on a downhill in January and hurt his wrist pretty bad… he’s the one that got us going today !
IB: I hope I used up my bad luck up this year – I’m pumped for next year!
You’re already looking at next year ?
DK: You bet – we’re on a roll this team has more to come.
IB: 100% this week was such a moral booster coming back to race in Canada with sunny warm weather and the race organizers did such a good job on the races courses.
DK: The sprints on Thursday had incredible conditions – world-class. And today – fast, hard tracks and fun course. Best was the cheering all along the course.
Did you see the Globe and Mail Sport’s last Thursday – “Cdn Skiers Dominate the World – Alpine, Freestyle and XC”…?
DK: No…that’s amazing to finally be recognized together. Being Canadian is tops.
Brent McMurtry on race conditions:
BM: Course conditions were excellent. With the cooler weather the tracks held up really well. No classic tracks on the uphills after lap one so it did get a bit trecherous near the end of the race. I crashed on Lap 9 and had to chase the ‘chase’ pack. Coming in across the finish line made it all worthwhile – the guys all cheering – we knew this was RACE ‘finale’.
Juniors Knute Johnsgaard from Whitehorse, Yukon and Simon Lapointe of Skinouk, QC
Knute fell on the first lap (big downhill before the stadium around 4.5 kms) and as he put it …” I went from top five to last place in a matter of 5 seconds. Had to catch the lead, but wasn’t too hard, as the race pace was fairly slow on the first two laps.”
The Norwegians broke away while he was catching up to the group. “I wouldn’t have really wanted to try and stay with the two Norwegians. Bit bummed about that.”
Simon, who’s a first year junior agreed that the pace of the big pack was slower than expected for the first 3 laps…then picked up. The group of 12 skied well together. this was his second 30-km race, with the first one being at the Eastern Canadian Championships in February at Nakkertok – also 6 laps of a 5km course. He liked it. Next week he’s racing his first 50km in Craftsbury, VT at the Spring Series and is looking forward to it. In general this week was not his best racing… he doesn’t perform as his best in soft, warm weather conditions… so today’s harder tracks finished the week well for him.
Knute is driving back to the Yukon with Senior skier, David Greer tommorrow. He’s been on the road since Christmas and misses home… “I can’t wait to get back, they still have lots of snow and -15 degree C weather. My race season may be over, but not my ski season,” he said with a BIG smile.