(Montreal) Cross-country skiing season 2023-2024. was officially launched with the first World Cup campaign in Ruka, Finland. In the classic sprint on Friday, Antoine Cyr achieved the best result among Quebec athletes with 24e place.
The day started well for the 25-year-old cross-country skier who is 21.e the fastest in the qualifications with a time of 2:42.54, which earned him a place in the quarterfinals.
Cyr was then fifth in his group, 2.35 seconds behind American Ben Ogden, the first in the wave. The Quebecer’s time of 2 min 39.62 s was not enough to advance to the semi-finals and earned him 24th place.e place in the final standings, just behind his compatriot Graham Ritchie.
In the final, Norwegian Erik Valnes celebrated ahead of Frenchman Richard Jouve (+0.83 seconds), who finished second. Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, also from Norway, finished on the podium (+1.70 seconds).
For their part, Olivier Léveillé and Léo Grandbois finished 58the and 69e.
A sprint that heralds great things
Katherine Stewart-Jones makes no secret of it, sprints have never been her favorite event. In Ruka on Friday, the Quebecer wanted to test her form and prepare as well as possible for the next races this weekend.
The Chelsea athlete won 40e qualification rank and could not reach the elimination group.
“I think everything went well after all. Here in Ruka, traveling is never easy. It will be fine for the rest of the weekend after pushing it to the max today (Friday) and having a little pain. I wanted to ski the right way and I’m happy with my race,” said Stewart-Jones in an interview with Sportcom.
Stewart-Jones has been working hard in off-season training. She participated in numerous preparatory camps in order to start the season in the best possible shape.
“I tried to get as much training into my body as possible. I think my mid-season last year was less good. I was in France in June with the national team at the camp, otherwise I trained in Canmore, Gatineau and Mont-Sainte-Anne at the Pierre-Harvey National Training Center. I focused a little more on bodybuilding, I can’t wait to see the difference in competition,” she said.
Stewart-Jones believes he will be able to stand out more on Saturday, during the classic 10km race, or on Sunday, in the mass start of the 20km freestyle. She also had good times in the latter event last season, finishing 13th.e at the World Championship in Lillehammer, Norway at the beginning of December.
“I don’t want to have too high expectations, it’s the beginning of the season and I still don’t know where I am compared to other skiers. I want to improve every weekend, but if I can get a good result tomorrow (Saturday) or Sunday, that would be great,” she concluded.