Adelboden Sprint – Race Report

Ashleigh Spittle starting the semi final of the adelboden sprint

Ashleigh Spittle defied expectations to qualify through to the semi-finals at the Adelboden Cross Country Skiing Night Sprint Race. This race is a personal favorite of sprinters that like to race fast, the course takes approx. 25 seconds to complete and consists of skiing down the main street of the town, performing a u-turn in a tight space before sprinting back up the street to the finish. The format is a time trail followed by heats of two until only two are left.

Ash Spittle and Ash Kildea time trailed side by side to finish in 4th and 6th. Nick Grimmer and Ewan Watson raced in a larger mens field and qualified 11th and 12th respectively. This is Grimmers highest finish at this event and by qualifying in the top 12 automatic qualification to the round of sixteen. In the round of sixteen both Australians drew unlucky draws with their competitors both ending up on the podium. They did not go down without a fight making the race go all the way to the line, in the end there was maybe one ski length the difference. The winner of the night was World Cup winning sprinter Christoph Eigenmann.

The female event went straight to semi finals with Spittle being drawn to race Swiss sprint specialist Karin Camenisch. Spittle was out matched here but had a much closer race in the bronze medal race in which 500 swiss francs were at stake. Spittle’s competitor was Silvana Bucher who is member of the Swiss World Cup Team, Bucher took the early lead however just after the corner came so close to falling and giving Spittle the win. To prevent the fall Bucher went across Spittle’s lane and almost into the crowd however it was clear who was going to win so no protest were launched. Spittle was happy with the 100 francs awarded to her for fourth and with the experience gained from racing head to head with some of Europe’s top sprinters. Despite being knocked out a round before Spittle the three other Australians also landed in the cash gaining 50 francs each for their performance.

Lescinska Grimmer will rejoin Nick, Ewan and the Ashes for the next night sprint which will be held in Fischen, Germany next Tuesday.

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