Saturday, March 6, 2004 - Results
Jeffries and Grey 9th in World Cup Team Sprint

It has been a banner year for the Canadian National Team program as the men's side has made big gains to join an already strong women's program among the best in the world. That was taken one step further today as Chris Jeffries and George Grey qualified for the final in the classic technique World Cup team sprint in Lahti, Finland to finish 9th.

The team sprint format matches half of the entered teams in each of two semi-final rounds with the top 5 teams in each semi-final advancing to a 10-team final. Each skier skis 3 laps of the course, which in Lahti was 1km long, alternating with their partner for a total of 6 laps.

Jeffries and Grey skied cruised through the semi-final, finishing 3rd to advance to the final, where they went head to head with the fastest skiers in the world. The pair finished 9th in the final, just 24.9 seconds behind the winning Russian team of Nikolai Pankratov and Vassili Rotchev, and only 2 seconds behind the top German team that finished 8th. The podium was rounded out by the Swedish II team of Mats Larsson and Bjoern Lind and the Norwegian I team of Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset and Jens Arne Svartendal.

Drew Goldsack and Devon Kershaw, comprising the second Canadian team, finished in 19th in the first World Cup team sprint of their careers. The sole US team in the race of Andrew Newell and Torin Koos finished 27th.

In the women's event it was Norway I taking their second team sprint in a row, with Ella Gjoemle and Hilde Pedersen teaming up for the win. Second went to the Finnish I team of Elina Hietamaeki and Pirjo Manninen, while the Russian team of Larisa Kurkina and Olga Savialova took third.

No Canadian women raced today as they prepare for tomorrow's 10km classic race. The men will be back in action again for the 15km classic race tomorrow on the trails in Lahti, Finland.

World Cup Classic Team Sprints, Lahti, Finland

1. Russia I (Nikolai Pankratov/Vassili Rotchev), 12:56.2
2. Sweden II (Mats Larsson/Bjoern Lind), 12:56.7
3. Norway I (Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset/Jens Arne Svartendal), 12:57.0
9. Canada I (Chris Jeffries/George Grey), 13:21.1
19. Canada II (Drew Goldsack/Devon Kershaw), 13:30.1
27. USA I (Andrew Newell/Torin Koos), 13:36.5
1. Norway I (Ella Gjoemle/Hilde Pedersen), 14:52.1
2. Finland I (Elina Hietamaeki/Pirjo Manninen), 14:53.6
3. Russia (Larisa Kurkina/Olga Savialova), 14:54.3

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