Alberta Men Sweep podium in Cross Country

Action was exciting in Martock under a cloudless sky and unseasonably warm temperatures.  The Atlantic wind subsided today and classic skiers needed to apply klister wax in order to get grip in the quickly melting corn snow.

In the Men’s 15km classic race, seven men were bunched up for the first 5km.  The lead pack jostled back and forth for the entire first lap.  Somppi of Ontario and Couturier of Quebec couldn’t stay in touch with the lead pack.  With the pack down to four skiers, the Alberta boys were able to break away from BC’s Matt Wylie.  Any one of the skiers could have won gold going into the finish.  Cockney continued his winning ways outsprinting Killick and Sandau.  Only 1.3 seconds separated gold and bronze.

In the 10km Classic race, the women racers bottle necked on the2nd narrow uphill just outside the stadium.  The top three women broke away from the pack mid-race when the top skier, Alysson Marshall of BC started to push the pace.  They were all able to hang on to their medal positions right to the end with Marshall in first, Emily Nishikawa in 2nd and new comer to Canada Winter Games medals, Andrea Lee in third.  This is the third medal for Marshall and second gold.  Nishakawa earned her third medal of the games.

In Para standing, Ontario finally broke into the medals with Gabriel Denis earning his first silver medal.  Slade Doyle of Brandon Manitoba, who is new to the sport, had his first classic technique lesson yesterday and it was enough to give him the win.  Louis Fortin finished 3rd.

Gorbounova of Ontario won her third gold medal in Para Standing with Mary Benson of BC squeeking in for her first medal of the games, and Courtney Knight earned bronze. This is Courtney’s third games medal.

Day three of Para Sitski saw a repeat of medal winners with Quebec’s Sebastien Fortier dominating yet again, ahead of Lou Gibson of BC and newcomer to cross country racing, Yves Bourque winning his third bronze of the games.

Gauthier of Quebec double poled her way to a gold in the Women’s Para Sitski ahead of Christy Cunningham of Ontario and Kelsi Paul of Saskatchewan.

The Canada Winter Games concludes with the able-bodied relay events on Saturday.  Men race 4x5km and women 4×3.3km.  There will be no events for Paranordic on Saturday. Closing ceremonies for the games are on Saturday evening.

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