• Fri. Apr 16th, 2021

Antoine Cyr, Graham Ritchie 7th for Canada at cross-country ski worlds | CBC Sports


Feb 28, 2021

Canadians Antoine Cyr and Graham Ritchie raced to a stable seventh-place end on the nordic world ski championships on Sunday in Oberstdorf, Germany.

Ritchie, of Parry Sound, Ont., and Gatineau, Que., native Cyr posted a time of 15 minutes 18.80 seconds within the skate-ski workforce dash.

At 22, Cyr and Ritchie had been the youngest workforce within the males’s finals on Sunday.

“This is eye opening and very cool for us to have Canada right there in the mix,” Ritchie instructed Nordiq Canada. “It hasn’t sunk in yet really, but we have the confidence and thought we could do it. It is pretty cool.”

The duo was 17.06 seconds off the tempo set by gold medallists Erik Valnes and Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo of Norway.

Ristomatti Hakola and Joni Maki of Finland completed second, and Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov and Gleb Retivykh took bronze.

In workforce dash, athletes every ski three laps, handing off to their teammate after finishing every 1.3-kilometre leg. Race organizers modified the qualification format on Sunday attributable to shortly altering snow circumstances because of heat temperatures. The top-four groups in every of the 2 heats superior to the finals together with the following two quickest occasions total. 

‘We have a powerful group of younger guys’

“The conditions were rock solid in the semis and then it was completely different with two inches of slush in the final about an hour later,” stated Ritchie, who was 17th in a person World Cup dash race final month in Sweden.

“We knew we had to be in the top-four in our semi to get to the final. That was our goal, and we did it.”

Alex Harvey and Devon Kershaw, the primary Canadians to win a world championship in 2011 in workforce dash, have been a supply of inspiration for Cyr and Ritchie.

“I will always remember watching those two win in Oslo. It was really inspiring, and they are both big influencers in our careers,” stated Cyr. “Alex is a good friend of mine and he is regularly in contact with me — giving me tips and tricks to ski on the World Cup scene. They are mentors for both of us.

“We have a powerful group of younger guys right here in Canada with a bunch of confidence to do that over the following few years,” added Ritchie. “We know it should take a while however in the present day we had been lower than one second off fifth place. We know we could be on the stage now [to compete] and that’s superior.”

On the women’s side, Dahria Beatty of Whitehorse and Maya MacIsaac-Jones of Athabasca, Alta., finished 12th overall after failing to qualify for the finals.

Sweden’s Maja Dahlqvist and Jonna Sundling received the ladies’s race, with Switzerland’s Laurien Van Der Graaff and Nadine Faehndrich one second behind. Slovenia’s Eva Urevc and Anamarija Lampic rounded out the medal podium.

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