Quebecers Antoine Cyr, Katherine Stewart-Jones and Liliane Gagnon teamed up with Albertan Russell Kennedy to conclude the Falun Cross-Country World Cup 4×5 km mixed relay in 12th place on Sunday in Sweden.
Cyr started the race in classic style and kept his team in the lead group to hand over to Stewart-Jones. The Chelsea athlete then finished his stint in seventh place and Kennedy moved his formation up a rank. Last torchbearer, Gagnon slipped six places and was the 12th to cross the finish line with a delay of 1 minute 19.1 seconds.
The Sweden 1 quartet finished first ahead of Norway 1 (4.6 seconds) and Germany 1 (6.4 seconds).
“I don’t think I had my best race, but it wasn’t my worst either,” Gagnon admitted in an interview with Sportcom. The level of competition is high and for me, who is young and new to the circuit, it is still a big step to fight against girls who finish in the top 15 in the World Cup. »
The Lévisienne said that her legs started feeling heavy early in her 5-kilometre freestyle course.
“I was getting passed and sometimes it was harder to hang on, even though I stayed with a German girl for a while,” she continued, adding that her teammates didn’t hold it against her. benefit.
This sympathy is what the cross-country skier needs to climb the top-level ladder at the right pace. This season, she has almost skipped the stages as she has taken part in the Senior World Championships, the Under-23 Worlds, the Tour de Ski, as well as five World Cup events. An impressive calendar of competitions for this athlete who is barely 20 years old.
The day before, Gagnon had finished 32nd in the freestyle sprint. She was just half a second away from making the World Cup qualifying draw for the first time in her career.
“Maybe I was missing one more stroke [of the sticks]. The positive side is that I see that I have the ability to do it and in two days, we’re doing another skate sprint, so I tell myself that it’s not the end either. Doing a top 30 and qualifying heats in my first year at the World Cup would be great! concluded the athlete, having the Tallin stage (Estonia) in his sights.