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Spring News 2007
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September 7 - National Rankings
October 10 - Clare-Louise Brumley Retires
October 25 - Interview with Phillip Bellingham
November 3 - Great Alpine Challenge
November 27 - Winter Begins Again

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Spring 2007 Updates

November 27 - Winter Begins Again

Australian cross country skiers are just about ready to contest their first races of the 2007-2008 season. This coming weekend December 1/2 Australian Team athletes will compete in FIS competitions in Finland, Canada and Switzerland.

In Finland Paul Murray will compete in the World Cup classic sprint event in Ruka. After good training all this year Murray has the top 30 and World Cup sprint finals firmly in his sights. The 30-year-old from Mt Beauty arrived in Ruka last Saturday, and will be joined there by coach Finn Marsland tomorrow. Andrew Wynd is pumped for the NORAM Continental Cup races in Sovereign Lake in Canada. Wyndy was to have competed last weekend in Canmore, however the event was postponed two weeks because of poor snow conditions. Down in Switzerland Nick Grimmer, Chris Darlington, KT Calder, and Esther Bottomley will race in the Swiss Cup in the Goms valley. This will be the first event in a four week intensive competition block for this quartet, taking in competitions in Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Germany.

From December to March a total of 18 members of the Australian Team will be training and competing in Europe and North America (and also Asia, see news report coming soon!). Reports and results will be posted regularly in the new Team Reports 2007-2008 section, which will be added to this site later today.

November 3 - Great Alpine Challenge

Last weekend the Great Alpine Challenge for 2007 concluded with the Mitta Mitta to Mt Beauty mountain bike race. After a 21km run in May, a 42km ski in August, and this 55km cycle in October, Andrew Mock won the overall challenge by just 2 minutes and 2 seconds ahead of Ben Sim, in the time of 5:21:25. Belinda Phillips was the first woman in the time of 7:15:21. The winner of the Mitta to Mt Beauty was Evan Franzke in the time of 1:56:14. It was a sprint to the line between the first two women, with Kim McCormack winning by a nose ahead of Lisa Jacobs.

Going into this last leg 17 minutes covered the top four men in contention for the GAC; Sim, Mock, Leon Spiller and Ian Franzke. Sim lost valuable time on all the others in the Mt Beauty 1/2 marathon, but his second place in the Kangaroo Hoppet put him into the lead 55 seconds ahead of Mock and 5 minutes ahead of Spiller. The surprise packet from the "skiers" was 18-year-old Simon Flower, who finished 5th in 1:59:55. Mock's time of 2:05:17 gave him a comfortable enough overall win in the challenge, though he probably wouldn't have known it when he crossed the line.

Full results from the race are available on the Team Mt Beauty website. Results from the other two legs are on the Kangaroo Hoppet and Mt Beauty sites.

October 25 - Interview with Phillip Bellingham

Sixteen year old Phillip Bellingha m from Mt Beauty is one of the younger members of the Australian Cross Country Ski Team. Paul Murray interviewed Phillip for the XC Files last week, see the interview here.

Phillip Bellingham, Under 16 Australian Champion 2007

October 10 - Clare-Louise Brumley Retires

2006 Winter Olympian and 2005 Kangaroo Hoppet winner Clare-Louise Brumley has announced her retirement from the national cross country ski team and competitive racing. Please see open letter from Clare-Louise below:

After much thought I have decided to retire from competitive XC skiing. What I love in the sport will endure beyond competition and I look forward to many years of skiing in Australia (if our planet doesn't get too hot!)

Fulfilling the Olympic dream was something I had not considered five years ago when I made a comeback to the sport after a seven year hiatus. In 2002 I was in Canada for fun, traveling with James as he trained for the sport. While there the Salt Lake City Olympics were on. Watching the girls race inspired me and in a brief moment one afternoon I decided I wanted to race again. The remainder of the Silver Star trip became a training camp. James and I were systematic and steadfast in our approach from that point on, focusing simply on the realistic goal at hand. It was only after World Championships in 2005 that Olympics 2006 became the goal. I have never focused so many elements of my life and all my energy into something as much as I did for those Olympic Games. Competing for Australia at the Olympics and achieving a result reflective of my form was so immensely satisfying.

I had the right momentum going for the sport, ran it to it's completion for my particular circumstances and now it's time to let it go. James and I have moved to Anglesea on Victoria's surf coast where I am writing my PhD thesis.

I would like to extend a warm thank you to the skiing community, Peter Cunningham and SAXC committee, Finn Marsland, and to national team sponsors including: Falls Creek resort, Atomic skis, Salomon, Toko, SSA and supporters of the XC-2010 program. Thanks also to the Victorian Institute of Sport for their support. A very sincere thank you to my personal sponsors - University Ski Club (USC), Banyule Leisure Centre and EMC. USC has provided such a supportive environment and their financial support was invaluable in helping me get overseas. Banyule Leisure Centre in Ivanhoe has provided years of gym membership which has been essential to my training. And finally, thanks to Doug Evans at EMC in Balwyn for all the support with waxes and equipment, particularly at a stage when I was re-establishing myself and good gear was hard to come by.

On a personal level, I want to thank James Rickard for his coaching sense and partnership in the sport, and my family's support throughout the journey. Special thanks to my Dad, John Brumley for his help in Europe during the 2005 World Championships and in the 2006 Olympic selection World Cup races, where in true parental form all the cheering and anticipation probably sent his heart rate higher than mine was whilst racing the climbs in Val di Fiemme and Oberstdorf.

I wish the team well over the next 2 ½ years in preparation for Vancouver 2010.

Clare-Louise Brumley
10 October 2007
Anglesea, Victoria

Clare-Louise Brumley competing in the 15km Pursuit at the Winter Olympics in Torino 2006

September 7- National Rankings

The 2007 Australian National Rankings are calculated from the percentage behind the winner in each of the national selection races. These included two freestyle and two classic races for the distance ranking, and one race of each technique for the sprint ranking.

Distance Ranking

Sprint Ranking

Provisional National Teams for 2007-2008 have also been posted, based on the rankings and FIS points from last year. The official National Teams will be ratified by SAXC later in September.

XC is the official website of the Skiing Australia Cross Country Committee. It is produced with the assistance of the Australian Sports Commission and the Kangaroo Hoppet. The editor can be contacted via info@hoppet.com.au.