Conditions this afternoon in Alberta were absolutely perfect for this 15km mass start (skate) from Canmore. A race on a superb track, demanding and varied, ideal for a spectacle.
After the first lap, out of four, the excellent Austrian Mika Vermeulen decided to take matters into his own hands. He attacks and remains alone in the lead for four kilometers.
Then, as soon as they're halfway there, the mighty Simen Krueger launches an attack. He easily catches up with the Austrian and remains alone in front of the leading group, which suddenly split in half.
Johannes Klaebo lets go, Hugo Lapalus is not good, he will stop before the end and we will find the top five behind the Norwegian. Amundsen, the main leader, Moch, the excellent German, the Burmese, the returning Swede, Lapierre, the in-form Frenchman and the inevitable Vermeulen.
The scenario will no longer change and Simen Krueger, the strongest of the day, will go celebrate his 10th success in his career without any trepidation. The Norwegian, 11 months after his success at 50 km in Oslo, wins again.
Behind him, World Cup leader Harald Oestberg Amundsen showed very good results, winning 2nd place. For third place we find the brilliant Mika Vermeulen, who offers himself the first podium in his career.
This boy who lives in Norway for half the year offers Austria his first top 3 in the World Cup after 15 years and Christian Hoffmann's third place in Lahti, hats off!
Moch is 4th, Burman 5th, and the admirable Jules Lapierre, who lacks a bit of power for the group finishes, takes an excellent 6th.
Just behind, at 18 seconds, is the strong Jules Chappaz, 7th, who is undoubtedly putting in one of his best performances over the distance. This is a great incentive for his future and career plans.
Johannes Klaebo takes 15th place at 43 seconds after the regular race. No doubt he decided to keep something for the sprints planned for Saturday and Tuesday, in the same place.
Complete order HERE