Exciting Start to the New Year for BSS Nordic Skiers
A great start to the New Year for the British Nordic Ski Team, with Andrew Musgrave having a particularly successful event in the Tour de Ski.
"Day 3 of the Tour de Ski has brought Britain's best ever result in World Cup cross-country skiing.
The Val Mustair course for the freestyle sprint is a new one consisting of 2 laps of a tightly turning hilly course with challenging twisting downhills as well as a steep hill out of the stadium area which was to prove exhausting for anyone who had not paced themselves well enough on the first lap. In the prologue the top 30 seeded skiers went out first with the rest of the field going out in the order they had finished after day 2's classic race. So Andrew Musgrave went out 15 seconds ahead of team mate Andrew Young as numbers 87 and 88 - lowly rankings but both of them felt that getting into the top 30 and thus through to the knock-out heats was a realistic possibility. Unfortunately Andrew Young fell on his second lap and in a race that lasts less than 4 minutes this was the end of his hopes. Happily for British supporters Andrew Musgrave stayed upright and blasted round the course in the 9th fastest time of the afternoon.
This was the second time Andrew had qualified for the heats in a World Cup sprint, the other time being in the equivalent race last year but then he did not manage to progress past the quarter finals. This year it looked as if he was going to face another insurmountable barrier when he was drawn in what turned out to be the fastest quarter final, which included the crowd's favourite, Dario Cologna, Russia's number 1, Alexander Legkov, and Kazakstan's sprint star, Alexey Poltoranin. But from the start Andrew positioned himself well in middle of the pack and going into the second lap tucked in behind Dario Cologna as he took the lead. Coming into the home straight Legkov and Poltoranin tried to sprint past Andrew but he held his speed and crossed the line in 2nd place - through to the semi-final!
After the excitement of this success there was little time to recover before the semi-finals started and he found himself in the same heat as Cologna for the second time. Again Andrew positioned himself well in the centre of the pack but going up the hill for the second time his legs couldn't respond and he finished well back from the 4 skiers who crossed the line in a photo finish. The finals were ultimately won by Finn Hagen Krogh from Norway."
British Nordic Develpoment Squad article