27 February, 2011

World Championships 2011, Relay Race

The Relay Race, the last race of the World Championships, but one of the most fun all around.  Racers were ready to put the hammer down on this short course format.  The course itself is longer that the Sprint Race, not nearly as long as the Individual Race, but short enough to really hurt.  It had two uphill sections, the first being 150m of vertical gain, and the second being another 150m of gain but with a bootpack.  The descents were marked out with super slalom style gates (turns which were too tight to be a giant slalom), and finished with small skate ski sections. (Photo Below:  Switzerland's Nathalie Etzensperger's run)

The start of the Men's Race was insanely fast, probably one of the fastest starts I have yet to witness, with the top athletes from each country leading out of the gate.  Canada's Reiner Thoni held his own arriving at the first transition with time to spare, a great start, as the coach's from North America were betting on each others Teams to add to the competition.  Yannick Ecoeur of Switzerland held the fastest time of 6:11, which only a few other racers even managed to get close to.  In the end, the Italian's won, and rightfully so as they stacked their Team with the fastest and most specialized, putting in all around fast times.  (Photo Below: David Albos Cavaliere of Andorra on the final climb)

Canada did not have enough women competing this year with Kylee Toth and Billie Velisek unable to attend, however, the USA did have a strong finish.  Nina Silitch, Jari Kirkland, and Janelle Smiley teamed up coming in 7th, with Switzerland taking the gold.  One notable performance was from Laetitia Roux (FR) who finished both laps in only 7:26, the next fastest women's time being Mereia Miro (ESP) at 7:58.  Now with the World Championships over, it's back to Canada to train and get ready for the Canadian Championships, before re-starting the whole process and beginning to train for next year's racing circuit!

Full Results Here.

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