Idre and Galå, produce strong results for hard grafting Brits
Andrew Young won battle of the Brits in Galå, Norway, with his best ever distance FIS points in the 15km classic on Sunday.
Week 2 of the season - Team GB in Norway and Sweden again The weekend saw the two Andrews in Norway again, this time in Galå where the best of Norway’s skiers (bar their World Cup team who were competing in Finland) took part in freestyle sprints on Saturday and a classic time trial on Sunday.
The first day didn’t start well for the organisers who had problems with the timing system during the sprint prologues and put up two sets of results being before they settled on a final version which had both the Brits qualifying for the knock-out heats - Andrew Musgrave 4th fastest and Andrew Young 30th.
Andrew Young was an unlucky 3rd fastest in his quarter-final (fastest 2 go through automatically) while Andrew Musgrave finished 2nd in his and went through to the semis. There he came 3rd but qualified for the final as one of the fastest losers and ended the day in 6th position overall.
On Sunday the wind got up and all but obliterated the classic tracks. In spite of this Andrew Young had a great race, finishing 27th with his best ever distance FIS points in the 15km classic. Andrew Musgrave was less happy with his 31st place.
In Sweden, Alex Standen, Callum Smith, Fiona Hughes and Posy Musgrave, plus Gregor Young and Sarah Hale from the junior team, had moved to Idre for an identical race programme to that of the Norwegian one.
The course for Saturday’s sprints was short with hard, fast snow. Posy, the sprinter of the group, finished 12th in the prologue and said she had found the course tricky with several difficult u-turns on the fast snow. Sarah came 43rd (in the combined senior and junior ladies list).
In the men’s races, both Callum and Gregor qualified for the knock-out stages, perhaps surprising themselves since they both normally think of themselves as distance skiers. Gregor was unlucky in his junior quarter-final to get mixed up in a crash and didn’t progress, but Callum qualified for the semi-final and described the head-to-head knock-outs as “fun”. He didn’t get through to the A final but in the B final he finished 2nd - another great day for him, coming into fine form at just the right time in his quest for the tough British Olympic Association qualifying standard.
Sunday was another cold and windy day for the classic time trial. Fiona (who had taken a rest day on Saturday) had an excellent 5km race and finished 12th with 107 points, bringing her overall FIS points average well down.
The race, incidentally was won by Julia Svan, daughter of the legendary Swedish skier, Gunde Svan. Posy also had a good day, finishing 17th in one of her better classic races, whilst Sarah Hale had one of her best ever races coming 4th junior and gaining 145 FIS points.
In the Men’s 10km event both Alex and Callum went well with Alex coming 46th (130 points) and Callum 23rd (94 points), while in the junior’s Gregor gained his best ever FIS points showing he is improving consistently.
A good weekend all round for Britain, showing the team is building in depth. Next week will see the British Senior men in classic action in the World Cup in Lillehammer (live on Eurosport in the UK) while the women head to Austria for races in Seefeld.
The sprint results from Saturday with Muzzy making it all the way to the final to come in 6th overall.