There was little rest over the holidays for many of the nation’s top skiers, as most used the first Bow Corridor race at the Canmore Nordic Centre, on Dec 29 as extra training going into 2011.
With world junior qualifiers this weekend in Thunder Bay, many top skiers tuned up at the regional race.
Bob Thompson and Jess Cockney won the men’s open classic sprint relay, 4.7 seconds ahead of second place. Both racers approached the race as a test for this weekend’s world junior championship event.
“The plan was for me to stay as close to the lead guys as I could, and hope Jess (Cockney) could catch them. On the last lap, I got passed by two guys from Banff Ski Racers. I caught one and Jess edged the other on his lap,” Thompson said.
The race was Thompson’s first in nearly three weeks and he’s been skiing well after training with the Alberta World Cup Ski Academy.
“It was more of a warm-up, but we tried to treat it as a serious race to get into the right mindset,” Thompson said.
His goal is to win the pursuit this weekend.
“I definitely think I can do it. I’ve really pushed myself,” Thompson said.
Cockney said the race helped him build on early strong results he’s posted. The racer has consistently been in the top 10 this season.
“This was a good chance to get the bib on, team up with friends and have a good day. It’s a bonus to win. I was lucky to have a quick partner,” Cockney said.
The 21-year old racer has improved his results this season and needs to do well in Thunder Bay to qualify for the U23 championships.
“The body is ready to go. I had a few hard workouts. I’m excited to get out there.”
Cockney raced in Thunder Bay at the Canadian Nationals in 2006, and is excited to get on the new course.
Canmore’s Chandra Crawford partnered with Sarah Daitch to win the women’s open classic sprint relay in 17:05.0. Alysson Marshall and Sara Hewitt were second with a time of 17:09.5. Heidi Widmer and Annika Hicks finished third with a time of 17:38.4.
In the other races, Nelson Allan, Sam McConnery and Peter Hicks won the juvenile boys classic sprint relay. Amelia Espey and Natasha Harvey won the juvenile girls classic sprint relay.
Marc Dupuis and Thomas Manktelow took the midget boys race, while Emmy Phillips and Morgan Rogers won the midget girls relay.
Ty Godfrey and Jessica Kuzik won the mixed classic sprint.
Mini-midget boys Alexander Harvey and Devin Manktelow won their category and Parres Holliday and Dany Morton captured the mini-midget girls competition.