Devon Kershaw (CAN) secures second place in Overall World Cup
The 29-year-old Kershaw’s finished third in yesterday's 3.3 km prologue but officially secured him second spot in the overall World Cup standings, which will put him in the books as the most successful Canadian men’s cross-country skier in the history of the sport.
With two stages still remaining, Kershaw has grabbed two wins and three third places during his remarkable run this year. The two-time Olympian also finished fourth overall in the grueling Tour de Ski, solidifying his position as one of the world’s best all-around cross-country skiers.
“To be second in the overall is crazy awesome and very hard for me to process right now with two races still to go,” said Kershaw, who added that Canadian Ivan Babikov also won the final stage of the Tour de Ski in 2009. “I’m not sure how many skiers – cross-country or alpine – have ever been second overall in history.
“It was a goal of mine all year to finish in the top-three,” added Kershaw. “I wanted to be top-three in the Tour de Ski and finishing fourth still stings, but that motivated me so much for the rest of the year for the overall on the World Cup. I won’t believe it until I see it officially in writing – but to finish second - this is big time.”
Beckie Scott was the only other Canadian cross-country skier to finish in the top-three in the Overall World Cup standings when she also finished second in 2006.
Toronto’s 23-year-old Len Valjas also made some noise on Friday. The two-time World Cup medallist moved to third overall at the midway point of the World Cup Finals mini-tour with a 21st-place finish at 8:34.0. Calgary’s Kevin Sandau rounded out the Canadian men’s performance in 45th (8:55.8).
“We have the best team in men’s cross-country skiing hands down,” said Kershaw. “To be around these guys is so motivating and there is no doubt we have the best team.”
Friday’s double podium finish brings the Canadian squad’s combined medal total to 12 on the World Cup level this year, surpassing the team’s collective goal of 10 set at the beginning of the season. Canada has placed a cross-country ski athlete in the top-five at nearly every World Cup level competition this season.
Press Release Cross-Country Canada