Scandinavian Cup – 10/15km Classic

Callum Watson and Anna Trnka were the highest finishing Australian in a tough 10/15km classic race in Pitea, Sweden. Ashleigh Spittle also raced well to record one of the best 10km results of her skiing career. The conditions were warm, very slushy and very tough. Team manager Lescinska described the athletes experience as similar to that of animals seen in videos of overseas abattoirs on a current affair.

Despite these conditions the Australian came ready to race and race well. Callum Watson skied strongly and felt good throughout most of the race. Jackson Bursill skied the first half of the race well and was on pace for a good results until two falls and a broken pole pushed him out of contention. For Alasdair Tutt it was a hard day at the office and his result was well off his best.

In the ladies event Anna Trnka and Ash Spittle both raced well. For Ash this was a chance to qualify for u23 world championships. Ash looked good and skied with energy and dynamics for the entire ten kilometre race. Coach Nick Grimmer, who has spent the last three Northern Winters watching Ash race, commented that it was the best he had ever seen her race a 10km event. Ellie Phillips raced less well in the conditions and struggled to get her skis to grip on many of the hills.

The end results were a bit of a blow out and probably don’t accurately represent the quality and performance of the Australian athletes. The top skiers did not seem to loose as much time in the slow, slushy conditions. Thanks to a lot of video footage taken by Linky we have been able to identify the major differences between the top skiers and the Australians and with three weeks left between now and World Junior/U23 Championships we will do everything we can to negate that difference.

Results – Men

1. Eldar Roenning NOR 36:43.0
2. Lars Nelsson SWE 36:56.5
3. Emil Jonsson SWE 37:04.6
4. Simen Ostenson NOR 37:10.2
5. Iivo Niskanen FIN 37:38.2

106. Callum Watson AUS 42:42.2
172. Jackson Bursill AUS 51:02.9
173. Alasdair Tutt AUS 52:03.4

183 starters

Results – Women

1. Charlotte Kalla SWE 28:01.7
2. Sofia Bleckur SWE 28:13.0
3. Jennie Oberg SWE 28:31.5
4. Marthe Kristoffersen NOR 28:34.1
5. Stina Nilsson SWE 28:30.5

93. Anna Trnka AUS 36:02.8
96. Ash Spittle AUS 37:53.2
99. Ellie Phillips AUS 39:19.3

100 starters

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