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Winter News 2002
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July 13 - Winter Reporting Begins!
July 16 - More Race News
July 17 - Laser Biathlon at Lake Mountain
July 22 - Birkebeiner Duathlon
July 24 - ACT/NSW Juniors & Ski di Femme Results
July 25 - Victorian Junior Sprint Time Trials
July 26 - Lake Mt Mini Series plus 1800-Reverse
July 29 - Victorian Junior Championships
July 30 - NSW Races
Aug1 - Hoppet Refuses Entry to Dopers
Aug 4 - Mt Hotham Race Weekend
Aug 7 - Lake Mt Sprints Off! Vic Sprints up the Stakes
Aug 8 - More Cancellations
Aug 12 - Dead Heat in ACT Championships
Aug 14 - KAC Classic Report
Aug 19 - SMC and Vic Sprints
Aug 20 - Skiing Australia CEO Resigns
Aug 26 - Australian Championship Action
August 27 - More Results Plus Continental Cup
September 2 - The 12th Kangaroo Hoppet
September 3 - Continental Cup Wrap-Up & NZ Muster
September 9 - Australian Junior Championships
September 10 - Final Events of the Season
September 12 - Melvey won Merino Muster

 Spring News 2002

2002 Race Calendar
2002 Race Results
2002 Entry Forms

Australian Team
2001/2002 Teams
Athlete Profiles
2001 National Rankings

Australian Resorts
Falls Creek
Lake Mountain
Mt Hotham

Snow Reports
Paddy Pallin

Neil van Der Ploeg coming in to finish in Junior Interstate Relays
Falls Creek, September 2002

More pics at the bottom of the page...

Winter 2002 Updates
September 12 - Melvey won Merino Muster

On September 7 Camille Melvey won the Merino Muster, New Zealand's biggest cross country ski race. Now into it's 8th year, the Muster is held at the Waiorau Snow Farm near Queenstown and has distances the same as the Kangaroo Hoppet - 42, 21 and 7km. Melvey completed the 42km event in 2:29:04 and in second place overall, just over 3 minutes behind Simon Heard from Great Britain.

New Zealand junior skiers took out the 21km Snow Rake event, with Dave Harwood the first man in 1:19:39 and Katerina Bondarenko the first woman (and third overall) in 1:29:12. In the 7km Straggle Muster Alex Boyd from New Zealand was first over the line, with Karla Wikjord from Canada the first woman. Full results are available on the Snow Farm site.

September 10 - Final Events of the Season

NABA Distance Championship
The last NABA Winter Biathlon event for this ski season (NABA Distance Championships) will be on Saturday the 14th of September at 10.00am at the Perisher Valley Nordic Shelter. This will be followed by the Snowy Mountains Inter Service Biathlon Challenge at 1.00pm which is between teams from KNP, Police, Fire brigade, Ambulance, SES and Volunteer ski patrol.

Unfortunately the proposed demonstration biathlon event at the National Interschools cross country championships on the Friday before has not beenapproved by the Interschools Committee and will not be held.

For more information contact Friedl Bartsch on or phone 0438 77 13 13

Hotham to Falls & Kosciusko Tour
The last cross country races of the season are also on this weekend, both resort to resort events. On Saturday September 14 the Miranda High Country Hotham to Falls takes on the 25km between Mt Hotham and Falls Creek, and on Sunday the Canberra X-C Ski Club Kosciusko Tour travels the 18km from the top of the Thredbo resort to Perisher Valley. Find more information about this latter race including entry forms on the Kosciusko Tour Page. There's plenty of snow about to make both events successful, just hope there's a good freeze so the courses are not as soft as the second loop of the Kangaroo Hoppet.

September 9 - Australian Junior Championships

There was plenty of action from Falls Creek over the weekend, with the most jam packed Australian Junior Championship schedule of all time. First the sprints on Saturday morning, then the freestyle distance events in the afternoon, then the classic distance events on Sunday morning, and the interstate relays Sunday afternoon. If you want to jump straight to the results there are all up - sprint - classic - freestyle - combined - relay - but here is a summary of the action below.

Sprint Events
Oh what fun on Saturday morning, no freeze overnight, wet new falling snow/rain throughout the sprints, and an increasingly mushy track. The qualifying time trial for the inaugural Junior Sprint event was about 750m, with the final about 650. Overall fastest qualifiers were Ben Sim about 3 seconds ahead of Daniel van der Ploeg and Nick Grimmer and in the girls Esther Bottomley only one tenth of a second faser than Chloe McConville. Unfortunately Esther and Chloe were in different classes so there was no head to head race between those two. Age classes for the sprints were the same as used for junior relays - Under 20 and Under 16.

The Under 16 Junior Men was the only class with sufficient number to warrant quarter-finals. The four skiers to progress all the way to the finals (with qualifying rank) were Ian Bottomley (1), Neil van der ploeg (2), Ewan Watson (4), and Jake Roarty (5). It was a close race all the way, with Ian leading down the final straight ahead of Neil steadily closing. The win looked to be Ian's before Neil lunged right on the line, and then the judges couldn't pick a winner. 15 minutes later after consultation of the video tape, the victory was awarded to Neil by about 5cm. Ewan got up for third place.

The Under 16 Junior Women went straight into semi-finals, and from the first semi there were no great dramas, Chloe McConville (1) and Kelly Hertzog (4) progressing to the final. In the second semi it was very close up the first hill between Jaffa Withers (2), Aimee Watson (3), Alice Bellingham (6) and Jo Windeat (7), and in the melee disaster struck for Jaffa when she broke a pole. Aimee Watson went clear, and made it through to the final together with Jo. In the final the field spread out, with Chloe winning comfortably ahead of Aimee, and Kelly claiming third place.

The Under 20 Junior Women went straight to the final, with Esther Bottomley (1) up against Sally Cunningham (2) and Holly Middleton (3). Esther showed why she is also the senior sprint champion ,skiing away from the other two and cruising to victory. Sally also made a clear break from Holly, and the qualifying ranks were the final placings.

The Under 20 Junior Men started with the semi finals, and those progressing to the finals were Ben Sim (1), Daniel van der ploeg (2), Nick Grimmer (3), and Peter Malcolm (4). Nick Grimmer was first out of the starting straight, but there was nothing in it up the first hill. Over the top Nick got a small break on Ben, with Peter on Ben's tail with a small break on Dan. Into the straight and Nick had a clear lead on Ben, who in turn had second place in the bag. Dan was closing on a fading Peter, and with a good lunge to make sure got past him right on the line to take third place.

An afternote on the sprint, Chris Darlington later proposed that when sprints were held in such wet and cold conditions that a hot tub be installed next to the start for skiers to sit in and stay warm between rounds. An innovative idea, with an stage of the proposal where skiers then jump out of the hot tub and ski nude around the track

Freestyle Events
Lets go first to the open junior events, ie all who ski 5km for women and 10km for men. No surprise with Esther Bottomley well clear in the 5km, with Chloe McConville skiing a great race to take second place 1:35 behind. Sally Cunningham snuck into third place 5 seconds ahead of Aimee Watson. The surprise upset came in the 10km with Daniel van der Ploeg winning by a margin of 1:30 from Chris Darlington, with the senior 10km champion Ben Sim having a bit of an off day in third place.

The class results in brief, Esther won in the W18, Sally in the W16, Chloe in the W14, and Jaffa Withers in the WU14 ahead of Alice Bellingham. Dan VDP was the man in the M18, Ben Sim won the M16, Neil van der ploeg won the W14 in a close contest from Jake Roarty and Ewan Watson, and Cal Britten won the MU14 by 11 seconds from Simon Flower. Full Freestyle Results

Classic Events
Nearly impossible to believe after the day before, snow from Saturday was packed and froze hard overnight, with another cm of fresh snow or snow on top. Garnish with a basically fine day with no wind, and it was perfect conditions for the classic races. Straight to the open junior events, and Esther Bottomley made it a clean sweep of the individual events, winning the 5km with 1:12 ahead of Sally Cunningham. Chloe McConville was lucky to claim third place after Aimee Watson skied down into the lap lane instead of around the aqueduct to the finish, losing possibly a minute. In the 10km Ben Sim had an amazing reversal of form to win and also claim the overall combined victory and the Otto Pinkas Trophy. Maintaining incredible intensity throughout the entire 10km Ben put 1:43 on second placed Chris Darlington and 2:35 on third placed Daniel van der Ploeg (he needed a gap of 2:11 to topple Dan).

So the obvious class winners from the info above are Esther (W18), Sally (W16), Chloe (W14), Darlo (M18), and Ben Sim (M16). Neil VDP won the M14, with Ian Bottomley and Jake Roarty dead-heating for second. Jaffa Withers won the WU14 ahead of Darcy Baxter, and Cal Britten won the MU14 this time with only 4 seconds from Simon Flower. Full Classic Results

Interstate Relays
A 1km course was used for the relays, with the Under 20 and Under 16 classes starting together. In the girl's relay the Victorian number 1 U16 team and Chloe McConville took a clear lead into the first change ,and with Kelly Hertzog and Jaffa Withers putting on strong performances retained the lead for the entire race. ACT lead the U20 race on the first leg, with Holly Middleton changing over to Caitlyn McCluskey 2 seconds up on Darcy Baxter in the NSW U16 team and 10 seconds up on Stephanie Judd in the Victorian U20 team. On the second leg Jo Windeat kept a hold on overall second place for NSW, while Annabelle Sawyer reduced the gap from ACT to 5 seconds for Victoria. This left Aimee Watson starting the last leg 5 second up on Sally Cunningham, Sally with the tough ask of having to hold off Esther Bottomley on the last leg. Sally dug deep early on and passed Aimee, but Esther was too strong and overtook both ACT and NSW before the top of the course. Esther started to close on Jaffa,but she was too far ahead, and in the end Victoria won the U16 ahead of NSW and the U20 ahead of ACT.

In the boys relays Ian Bottomley lead with Nick Grimmer out of the start for Victoria U16 and U20 respectively. However Chris Darlington had other plans for NSWand came smoking over the op the course into the first place as Ian and Nick began to tire. NSW has stacked their U20 team with their best U16 skiers, and Jake Roarty started the second leg with a 2 second lead over Peter Malcolm. Malcs overtook, but Jake hung on to the back of his skis as they both dropped Adam McLean from the Victorian U16 team. To the third leg and Mark van der Ploeg went out with a 1 second lead on Ewan Watson, and pulled away to deliver a 10 second break to his brother Daniel skiing the anchor leg. That looked to be enough, but Ben Sim went out flying on the last leg for NSW, and reduced the gap to 5 seconds half way round the course. The crowd was going wild cheering for both skiers, and somwhow Dan managed to hold gap steady around the aqueduct. Ben never gave up, but the final corner came and Victoria won with just a 4 second margin over NSW. Meanwhile Neil van der Ploeg for Victoria U16 just held off his brother Evan to be the next across the line and win the Under 16 relay, Vic number 2 and 3 taking second and third place. Full Relay Results

September 3 - Continental Cup Wrap-Up

As indicated in the August 27 update the results from the Hoppet would determine the final placings in the 2002 Continental Cup. In the women's event Belinda Phillips needed to win the Hoppet to win the CC, and that is exactly what she did, coming from 85 points behind to relegate Katie Calder into second position. Chun Ja Lee from Korea consequently dropped to third place, while Camille Melvey and Sarah Peters from Canada took a step past sprint specialist Esther Bottomley courtesy of their Hoppet podium places.

In the men's CC things were looking grim for Paul Murray early on in the Hoppet when Cameron Morton was leading the race and Murray was sitting in a group containing places 9-13. Murray's chances picked up when Rezac from the Czech Republic left Morton in his wake, however perhaps the message didn't come back through the pack because Murray came storming home like a mad-man to take 4th place overall and secure the top spot in the CC no matter what happened up front. Morton's second place moved him up to second in the overall standings, no other movers and shakers at the top of the list.

The top three places in the Continental Cup receive extra starts for specified World Cups outide of their Nation quota, however they have to be under the World Cup qualification standard as well. Currently Paul Murray and Ben Sim are the only Australian skiers qualified for World Cup, in Sprint events only. The winners of the Continental Cup also receive all expenses paid for these World Cups.

Women's Overall Standings (Final)
1  325  Belinda Phillips  AUS
2  310  Katie Calder      AUS
3  280  Chun Ja Lee       KOR
4  251  Camille Melvey    AUS
5  232  Sarah Peters      CAN
Men's Overall Standings (Final)
1  358  Paul Murray       AUS
2  330  Cameron Morton    AUS
3  285  Ben Sim           AUS
4  260  Byung Joo Park    KOR
5  216  Ben Derrick       AUS

Full Cup Standings

Merino Muster This Weekend in New Zealand
This weekend it is New Zealand's turn to put on their ski marathon, the Merino Muster at the Waoirau Snowfarm. Replace the names Hoppet, Australian Birkebeiner and Joey Hoppet with the Muster, Snow Rake, and Straggle Muster but keep the same 42km, 21km and 7km distances and you have a winner. It's not too late to book a ticket and head over the Tasman, snow conditions are apparently good, for more information go to the Snowfarm Website.

September 2- The 12th Kangaroo Hoppet

The 2000-2003 Worldloppet series has official started with the Kangaroo Hoppet at Falls Creek on Saturday August 12. The overall winners in the 42km event were Stanislav Rezac from the Czech Republic and Belinda Phillips from the Lake Mountain Nordic Team. Despite warm weather preceding the event creating soft and slow conditions, numbers were up from last year with nearly 1100 competitors entered across the three distances. The official press release and full results are up on the Kangaroo Hoppet site (which of course is only a short step from this site).

Razac, Ben Derrick, and Cameron Morton broke away from the rest of the pack on the Sun Valley loop. Up the paralyser Rezac made a break, with Morton initially trying to follow but then being caught back by Derrick. Coming off Heathies Spur and across the dam wall Rezac had over two minutes on the pair and no intention of slowing down. Derrick had been working too hard to hold onto Morton, and out in Sun Valley the second time hit the wall. Mark Raymond moved up into 3rd place before hitting the wall himself at Riley's Revenge, and then Anthony Evans moved into third place. And so were the top 3 spots at the finish, Rezac's winning margin 5 minutes over Morton and another 3 minutes to Evans. Paul Murray skied a fantastic second half of the Rocky Valley loop to take 4th place ahead of Nick Almoukov, with a very tired Ben Derrick holding onto 6th place. Rezac has a pretty solid Worldloppet pedigree, winning the Finlandia in 2001 and placing 4th overall in the FIS Marathon Cup the same season.

Phillips escaped from the other female competitors very early, with already a handy break ahead of Sarah Peters from Canada by the Dam Wall after the Sun Valley loop. Camille Melvey wasn't far behind Peters (who won the 2002 Keskinada in Canada) but never managed to bridge the gap and get in contact. After the 21km Heathies Spur loop Phillips had an advantage of about 3 minutes to Peters, with Melvey 1 minute further back. It was close for 4th-6th place, with Robin Rodd, Claire-Louise Brumley, and Leanne Laajoki all within about 50m but not skiing together. Hmmm, maybe that was Carla Zilstra in that close group instead of Laajoki, but at any rate Laajoki then moved up to 6th. Phillips continued to pull away on the Rocky Valley loop and at the finish was over 9 minutes up on Peters. Melvey closed on Peters at one stage, but Peters dug deep and drew the gap back out to 58 seconds at the finish. Rodd comfortably took 4th place ahead of Brumley, with Laajoki another minute back in 6th place.

It was a great race in the 21km between the up and coming stars of Australian skiing, with Daniel van der Ploeg, Ben Sim, and Chris Darlington breaking away in Sun Valley and pushing each other closely for the first half of the race. However with the help of fast skis van der Ploeg made a break before the last climb to the top of Heathies Spur, enough to keep Sim at bay up on the uphills before the run down off Heathies extended the lead out to over a minute. Van der Ploeg added the win to his 2000 victory in the Australian Birkebeiner, Sim winning the event in 2001. Darlington was third, with Peter Malcolm skiing his best race of the season to claim 4th place 15 seconds ahead of Andrew Mock.

Katie Calder may have given the women in the 42km a good shake, but was content to win the 21km with a comfortable margin ahead of Esther Bottomley. Bottomley skied a good race in her first time up from the Joey Hoppet, skiing away from 2001 winner Rhiannon Palmer on the paralyser to secure her second place. Palmer, who has taken a step back from competition this winter, dropped to 4th place behind Jenny Alternmatt.

There were also good contests in the 7km, have a look at the results to see the margins, the winners were Lachlan Rodd and Sally Cunningham.

Come back tomorrow for an update on the 2002 Continental Cup (or do the maths yourself below...).

August 27- More Results Plus Continental Cup

Rocky Valley Rush
Always a good warm-up before the Kangaroo Hoppet, the Rocky Valley Rush takes on the second loop of the Hoppet course. The 2002 overall winner in the RVR was Paul Connor of Australian Biathlon fame, ahead of Ian Franzke. The first woman across the line was Robyn Rodd. In the Sun Valley Ramble (which may or may not follow the Joey Hoppet course) the first skier was Japanese junior Naoto Yamamoto, who finished 2nd in the 2001 Australian Birkebeiner behind Ben Sim. Second to Yamamoto was his team-mate M. Kiriishi of uncertain first name, with Mark van der Ploeg the first Australian in third place. First woman in the SVR was Chloe McConville from Telemark Nordic Ski Club. Full Results

Australian Continental Cup Series
With one event remaining in the 2002 Continental Cup the top places are still in contention. Katie Calder leads the women's cup with 310 points ahead of Chun Ja Lee from Korea on 280 points, however neither of these skiers will be skiing in the 42km Kangaroo Hoppet (Calder is skiing the 21km, and Lee is heading home). This leaves 2001 Kangaroo Hoppet winner Belinda Phillips with the opportunity to jump from third to first if she can pull off back to back Hoppet victories. However 2001 Continental Cup Camille Melvey and 2002 Keskinada winner Sarah Peters from Canada will also be eyeing the top of the Hoppet podium

In the men's cup Paul Murray holds a slender lead over Ben Sim, however with Sim skiing the 21km and third placed Byung Joo Park heading home to Korea, Murray's biggest threat will come from 2001 Continental Cup champion Cameron Morten, who is sitting 58 points shy. If Morton wins the Hoppet (not out of the question) then Murray has to finish at least 5th, which would be a tall ask for the sprint specialist. If Morton finishes second then Murray has to finish 12th or better, which is also not a given as Murray's best Hoppet result is 13th in 2000.

Women's Overall Standings (5 out of 6 races)
1  310  Katie Calder      AUS
2  280  Chun Ja Lee       KOR  
3  225  Belinda Phillips  AUS 
4  200  Esther Bottomley  AUS   
5  191  Camille Melvey    AUS
Men's Overall Standings (5 out of 6 races)
1  308  Paul Murray       AUS   
2  285  Ben Sim           AUS   
3  260  Byung Joo Park    KOR  
4  250  Cameron Morton    AUS
5  176  Ben Derrick       AUS

Full Cup Standings

Victorian Interclub Series
While the Interclub points for the Rocky Valley Rush results haven't been calculated yet, two Interclub races were held the weekend before at Mt Stirling and Mt Baw Baw. Results for the Razorback Rush and Tullicouty/St Phillack Cup have now been posted , and after 6 events Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club is leading Wangaratta Ski Club 36 points to 35 in the Interclub series standings.

August 26 - Australian Championship Action

The 2002 Australian Open Championships for Cross Country Skiing concluded this weekend at Perisher Valley in NSW. Skiers from seven nations competed in six events from Friday August 13 to Sunday August 25. While Korea's top male and female skiers were the dominant skiers of the championships, the future looks good for Australia with several young stars starting to break through.

Korean head coach Dae-Young Kim was very happy with his team's efforts, with Chun-Ja Lee securing two gold and a silver medal in the women's events, and Byung-Joo Park taking away a gold and two silvers in the men's events. The two number one ranked skiers from Korea competed at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

The most spectacular event of the weekend was the men's sprint final on Saturday. Park from Korea looked to have it won when he lead into the finish straight, however Paul Murray from Mt Beauty in Victoria clawed his way back and put himself in contention with a sensational lunge across the line. The race jury had to consult the video replay before the victory was awarded to 25 year old Murray, whose international potential has recently been acknowledged with a scholarship from the Victorian Institute of Sport. 19 year old Esther Bottomley also from Mt Beauty made it an Australian double in the sprint, holding off Korea's Chun Ja Lee and Norwegian Torill Pedersen in the women's final to take her third consecutive Australian Sprint title.

The biggest upset of the championship came in the men's 10km freestyle on Sunday. 17 year old Ben Sim from Cooma blasted away 10-time Australian champion Ben Derrick and Park from Korea on the second 5km lap to win the event in the impressive time of 22 minutes and 56 seconds. Sim is now the youngest Australian male ever to win a senior national title, and the result was also good enough to qualify Sim for World Cup and the 2003 World Championships in Italy. Murray is currently the only other Australian also qualified for these events. Sim is on scholarship with the NSW Institute of Sport.

Canberra's Katie Calder was the most consistent Australia skier over the championship, finishing second to Lee of Korea in both the 10km classic and the 5km freestyle, and ending up 4th in the sprint final after a fall in the starting straight. This means that Calder has taken three of the four Australian titles on offer this season.

Canadian skier Sarah Peters showed that she will be one of the favourites in the 42km Kangaroo Hoppet next weekend. Peters finished third in the 5km and 10km events, and distance certainly will not be a problem considering that she won the 2002 Keskinada Worldloppet event in Canada earlier this year.

More details of the races coming soon in the Australian Championship Special. The full results are already up. Look also for the Continental Cup standings later today.

August 20 - Skiing Australia CEO Resigns

Skiing Australia Chairman Hugh Whan announced last week that the organisation CEO Steven Potts has notified the board of his resignation, effective on October 31, the end of the SAL financial year. Steven Potts has been CEO since 1998, with the unenviable job of managing an organisation with many disciplines and committees and a large financial debt.

Whan greatly praised the efforts of Potts, particularly underlining the credit due for overseeing the turnaround of Skiing Australia's finances, which are predicted to be out of the red by the end of this year, and for the strong relationship with the Olympic Winter Institute (OWI) . The last four years have also seen great international success in the disciplines of Alpine and Freestyle skiing, and recently a lengthy review of Skiing Australia operations. Click here for the complete text of Whan's announcement.

The fortunes of the discipline of Cross Country Skiing during this period have not been so rosy. With the exclusion of cross country skiing from the Australian Institute of Winter Sport (which then became the OWI), and a significant reduction in funding in the last year, Skiing Australia Cross Country has been struggling to retain its top athletes and to reach the high standards of international competition that were being blazed in the 1990's. However with Skiing Austraila back in the black and the current crop of very talented skiers, the future is promising.

The Australian Cross Country Skiing Website would like to thank Steven Potts for all his hard work in a bugger of a job,and for leaving the organisation in a better state than when he arrived. 

August 19 - Snowy Mountains Classic and Vic Sprints

Snowy Mountains Classic (42km and 21km Aus Champs)
Katie Calder from Canberra Alpine Club and the ACT Academy of Sport, and Ben Derrick from the Wangaratta Ski Club have claimed the first Australian Championship events for 2002. For Calder it is her first senior Australian title, and for BBDerrick his ninth.

Belinda Phillips from the Lake Mountain Nordic Team was second behind Calder, with 2001 Australian Champion Camille Melvey in third place. Calder broke away early from the rest of the field, while it took Phillips a lot longer to get past and shake Melvey for good. Canadian skier Sarah Peters, who is out here for the Kangaroo Hoppet, also had a bit of a tussle with Melvey before ending up in 4th place.

Big Benny Derrick also made his break early on, but once he was out by himself the lead stopped growing. After the first 21km loop he held a lead of about 1:15 over Chris Darlington from Boonoona Ski Club, with Australian skiing legend Anthony Evans and NSW coach Nick Almoukov about another 40 seconds back. When they looped back past the start/finish area with 10km to go, Darlo was only a minute behind, and looking strong. Apparently the gap closed down to about 30 seconds, scaring the crap out of BBD when he looked over his shoulder to see Darlo just at the bottom of the hill behind. But the old warhorse dug deep and went on to win by 58 seconds, with Darlo taking second place in the form of his life. Evans finally got away from Almoukov on the last hill to take third place.

The top 5 places in the Australian Championship events are listed here, it may take a while before the full results across all distances in the Snowy Mountains Classic are available. We can tell you that Ben Sim from CAC won the men's 21km, Carla Zilstra the women's 42km, Jake Roarty the men's 7.5km, and Sally Cunningham the women's 7.5km.

        Men 42km Freestyle
        1    1:53:27  Ben Derrick              VIC
        2    1:54:25  Chris Darlington         NSW
        3    1:55:18  Anthony Evans            ACT
        4    1:55:50  Nick Almoukov            NSW
        5    1:57:59  Matt O'Rourke            NSW
        Women  21km Freestyle
        1    1:01:52  Katie Calder             ACT
        2    1:04:40  Belinda Phillips         VIC
        3    1:05:44  Camille Melvey           NSW
        4    1:06:30  Sarah Peters             CANADA
        5    1:09:44  Claire-Louise Brumley    VIC

Victorian Junior Sprints
The first junior championship sprint event held in Australia, and about time too. After a qualifying time trial over 1km (see course description below) finals were held in Under 12, Under 16, and Under 20 age groups for girls and boys. The U20 winners were Esther Bottomley and Nick Grimmer from Birkebeiner NSC, but more action was to be found in the U16 class. Chloe McConville from Telemark NSC won in the final, with a close race between Alice Bellingham (BNSC) and Jaffa Withers (BNSC) for second and third. In the boys U16 a fall by the day's fastest qualifier Neil van der Ploeg (BNSC) saw Ian Bottomley (BNSC) take the line honours, but van der Ploeg recovered to make second place ahead of Lachlan Cann (TNSC). In the U12 classes first place went to Giles Richardson from Melbourne NSC and Nikki Roman.

Full Results will be up later today.

Victorian Senior Sprints
The second round of the Continental Cup had several notable skiers missing due to the SMC on the Saturday and the Australian Biathlon Championships on at Mt Hotham, however the men's event in particular was hotly contested and it was a very exciting day of racing. Cutting to the chase the race favourites Paul Murray and Esther Bottomley from Birkebeiner NSC won the qualifying round and the finals, but there was plenty of action in between. The time trial was over 1km (1035m to be exact), mostly flat with one climb towards the Hoppet finish on the 1.5km loop. The course for the final was the same except for the finish swinging down off the aqueduct into a 100m long straight.

The women's event went straight to the semi-final, with Esther Bottomley leading out from former national junior team member Natasha Brennan (BNSC) and Chloe McConville (Telemark NSC). Bottomley took a small lead into the finish straight and claimed the first final spot, with Brennan just holding onto the second spot after McConville made the lunge of the day to miss out by centimetres. In the other semi-final Belinda Phillips (Lake Mountain NT) and Torill Pedersen from Norway managed to break away from Robin Rodd (TNSC) and Alison Gargan (Wangaratta SC) and cruised down the finish straight.

In the women's final Bottomley took the lead from the start, and established a 20m break over the top of the course ahead of Phillips and Pedersen. There was nothing the chasing skiers could do to bring her back, and the 19 year old from Mt Beauty (studying in Canberra) went on to add the senior Vic sprint title to the junior title from the day before. Phillips lead Pedersen into the straight, but a half-missed pole saw her lose momentum 20m short of the line and the Norwegian took second place.

There was action already in the first of the men's quarter-finals, with German Mario Felgenhauer holding off Ian Bottomley's (BNSC) finish sprint to progress along with Paul Murray. 7th ranked qualifier Peter Malcolm (Bullfight SC) took a fall in his quarter-final, allowing van der Ploeg brothers Evan and Neil to sprint it out for a semi-final place (Evan got it). The first semi-final saw Murray go through easily, with Tim Retchford from Melbourne getting the jump on Leon Spiller (WSC) and Felgenhauer and holding on by the proverbial in the straight. In the second all Birkebeiner semi-final Nick Grimmer and Duane Butcher stretched Ronan Magaharan to his limits before the rubber band snapped, and the former two got away.

To the men's final and Murray and Grimmer went neck and neck for the first 150m before Grimmer lost the game of chicken and let Murray take the lead. Retchford also pushed his way into third place ahead of Butcher. Grimmer tried to overtake several times, however when Murray put his foot down over the top of the hill Grimmer couldn't quite hold on. Murray retained the gap until the finish striaght and held on to win by about 5m. Butcher also tried unsuccessfully to take Retchford on the hill, but got his chance to pull up level in the final straight. It was going to be close until Retchford lunged early, and Butcher won third place in the final metres.

Should be a great event in the Australian Sprint Championships next weekend, when all the NSW and ACT skiers plus Cameron Morton, Ben Derrick, and maybe a Korean or two line up as well. Full Results will be up later today.

Continental Cup Update
With two events out of six down in the 2002 Australian Continental Cup Series Paul Murray and Belinda Phillips are sitting in the top spots. However there are plenty more points to grab at the end of the this week with three events in three days. The 2002 Continental Cup series has two sprint events, two classic distance events, and two freestyle distance events. The top 5 places in the cup are listed below, the full leaderboard is available in the results section.

Men's Standings (after 2 races of 6)
1  132  Paul Murray      VIC
2  106  Nick Grimmer     VIC
3  100  Cameon Morten    VIC
4   82  Duane Butcher    VIC
5   80  Ben Sim          NSW
Women's Standings (after 2 races of 6)
1  140  Belinda Phillips VIC
2  100  Katie Calder     ACT
=2 100  Esther Bottomley VIC
4   80  Torill Pedersen  NOR
=4  80  Robyn Rodd       VIC

August 14 - KAC Classic Report

News hot off the press. Today 17 year old Ben Sim from Cooma won the 2002 KAC X-C Classic from Perisher Valley to Charlotte's Pass, ahead of training partner Chris Darlington from Jindabyne. Both skiers are on scholarship with the NSW Institute of Sport. Katie Calder from Canberra and the ACT Academy of Sport was the first woman, (in 6th place overall!), with Camille Melvey from Bondi second and Sarah Peters from Canada in third place.

Some photos are already up on the KAC home page. Now results, August 16!

August 12 - Dead Heat in ACT Championships

The ACT Championship events over 15km for men and 10km for women in freestyle technique took place on Saturday August 10 at Perisher Valley. Two young guns, Daniel van der Ploeg from Birkebeiner and Ben Sim from CAC fought it out head to head for 15km before dead-heating at the finish in front of the Sverre Kaaten nordic shelter. Chris Darlington from Boonoona took third place. In the 10km Katie Calder from CAC won convincingly ahead of Belinda Phillips of the Lake Mt Nordic Team, with Camille Melvey from Boonoona in third.

NSW Sprints
These took place in slushy snow in the afternoon after the ACT Championships. The fastest qualifiers were Katie Calder and Ben Sim, however their efforts from the morning probably took their toll and they didn't have it all their own way in the finals. Calder managed to hang on in the final to win ahead of Esther Bottomley from Birkebeiner, with Norwegian skier Torill Pedersen third. Duane Butcher from Birkebeiner was a clear winner in the men's final, with Ben Sim second and Nick Almoukov third.

Boonoona Open
Finishing up the weekend of racing at Perisher Valley was the Boonoona Open. Take your pick of skating or classic technique. In the classic events Katie Calder won the women's 5km by 9 seconds from Leanne Laajoki, with Ewan Watson edging out Jake Roarty by 5 seconds in the men's 5km. Camille Melvey was nearly 1 minute up on Esther Bottomley in the women's 5km freestyle, while Chris Darlington and Ben Sim were seperated by just 1 second n the men's 5km freestyle. Full Results

Cabramurra Tour
This was last weekend August 3 at Cabramurra. The 15km classic race was won by Warren McCourt ahead of Adrian Blake, with Cherie Power the first woman in third place overall. The junior race was won by Luke McKinnon. More race details can be found at the NSW Ski Association site. Full results

August 8 - More Cancellations

Bullfight Charge and LM Mini-Series 3 Cancelled
Message from John Cannon, Mt Bullfight Ski Club: Unfortunately, due to the poor snow conditions at Lake Mountain at present Mt Bullfight Ski Club has had to cancel the Bullfight Charge and also the Mini Series, Race 3, which were to be held on Sunday August 11.

Our thanks to our many sponsors for their continued support this year: Lake Mountain Resort - Fischer - Cumberland Resort - Marylands 50's and Over Resort - Marysville ski hire - Narbethong ski hire - Cross Country Ski Hire - Lake Mountain Resort Ski Hire - Lake Mountain Ski School - Evian - Gatorade - Phelps Bakery, Marysville

Thanks also to the Lake Mountain Committee of Management and Staff for their continued support on the mountain.

August 7 - Mt Hotham Racing Weekend

Lake Mountain Sprints Cancelled
For the second year in a row the Lake Mountain Fischer Skis Elimination Sprints have been cancelled due to lack of snow. Despite great conditions at Lake Mountain throughout July, warm weather and rain over the past few weeks has seen the snow disappear, and race organisers Lake Mountain Nordic Team have had to pull the pin. There has been no official word yet on the Bullfight Charge or the Lake Mountain Mini Series scheduled for this Sunday, snow is forecast to fall but it may just be too late.

Falls Creek kicks in to Victorian Sprint Championship
The inaugural Victorian Sprint Championships, junior and senior, are on at Falls Creek on the weekend of August 17/18. The Falls Creek Resort Management has just announced that they will be putting up a prize valued at over $1000 in the senior championship event.

Accommodation for three people, resort entry and lift tickets for three days for next season is the prize on offer, and event organisers Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club welcome this additional support from the FCRM, which already does a fantastic job with the grooming at Falls Creek. The prize will be drawn as a spot prize at the presentations.

Cash prizes will also be given to place getters, in the following breakdown

Open Male & Open Female - 1st $100, 2nd $50 & 3rd $30

Masters Male & Masters Female - 1st $50, 2nd $25 & 3rd $15

Lake Mountain Mini Series Results
The snow was still okay last weekend for the second Lake Mountain Mini Series event. Thanks to Neil Richardson for sending in these results.

August 4 - Mt Hotham Racing Weekend

Victorian 5/10km Championship
The first races of the 2002 Australian Continental Cup Series for cross country skiing were held on Sunday August 4 at Mt Hotham in Victoria. The Victorian Championship men's 10km classic event was won by local Hotham resident Cameron Morton, while the women's 5km classic event was won by Katie Calder from Canberra.

Overnight snow and early morning fog cleared to provide good conditions for racing on slightly slow wet snow. Morton held a 10 second lead over Paul Murray from Mt Beauty at the 2km mark, with Chris Darlington from Jindabyne in close contact in third place. From there the race belonged to Morton, the 28 year old head teacher at Harrietville Primary School pulling away from the field to win comfortably in a time of 29:08, 1 minute 40 seconds clear. 2001 Australian Junior Champion Ben Sim from Cooma finished strongly to take second place, 10 seconds ahead of fellow NSW Institute of Sport skier Darlington. The top 5 was completed with Andrew Mock and Robert Curtis, with Murray fading to 8th place after his fast start.

It was a much closer race for first in the women's 5km, with ACT Academy of Sport skier Calder matching up against Belinda Phillips from the Lake Mountain Nordic Team. However Phillips fell twice in the first 2km, leaving Calder with a 20 second lead with 2km to go. Phillips dug deep and pegged back a few seconds, however Calder went on to win in ta time of 16:36, just 17 seconds ahead of Phillips. Third place went to Camille Melvey from Boonoona Ski Club, with Leanne Laajoki from Canberra 4th and Claire-Louise Brumley 5th.

Full results will be up on this website in the next few days. The 2002 Continental Cup Series continues on Friday August 18 at Falls Creek with the Victorian Sprint Championships.

Hotham to Dinner Plain
The Hotham to Dinner Plain Pub to Pub citizen race on Saturday August 3 was won by Ben Derrick of Wangaratta Ski Club, ahead of junior skier Daniel van der Ploeg from Birkebeiner and Brayton Osgood from the USA. The first woman home was Belinda Phillips who had a very impressive race to finish in fourth place overall. Link to results.

August 1 - Hoppet Refuses Entry to Dopers
Word has been circulating that disgraced cross country skier Johann Muhlegg of Spain is planning to compete in the Kangaroo Hoppet. Muhlegg is currently banned from international competition by the International Ski Federation (FIS) for doping offences at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

The rumours arose after a report on Muhlegg's own website - detailing that conditions looked good and he was considering heading south if his training was going well. Muhlegg has been in Australia once before, winning the Kangaroo Hoppet in 1996. Whether or not the German born Spaniard has his flight booked to Australia this year, Kangaroo Hoppet event-coordinator Allan Marsland has confirmed that neither Muhlegg or any other banned skiers will be allowed to start in Australia's Wordloppet event.

"The Worldloppet AGM in Finland in June emphatically agreed to take a strong anti-doping stance," said Marsland from the Kangaroo Hoppet race office in Mt Beauty. "Worldloppet will not be used as a testing ground for doping. I have recently assured FIS that Muhlegg will not be skiing in the Hoppet, and for that matter he will be refused entry to all Skiing Australia sanctioned events."

Muhlegg and other dopers from Salt Lake City currently retain medals from the games won prior to their doping tests. These matters are currently under appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Muhlegg still proclaims his innocence despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and has announced that he will return to the World Cup racing circuit as soon as his ban expires in February 2004.

July 30 - NSW Races
The 2002 NSW Championships in classic style were held at Perisher Valley on July 27. Ben Sim from Cooma won the men's 15km ahead of fellow NSWIS skiers Matt O'Rourke and Chris Darlington, while Canberra and ACTAS skier Katie Calder won the women's 10km classic ahead of Leanne Laajoki and Sally Cunningham, also from the ACT. Numbers were down, with 10 men and only 3 women competing. Come on, classic waxing at Perisher is not that difficult is it? Results now up.

The Cooma Open brought a lot more skiers out of the woodwork on Sunday July 28. Ben Sim kept his unbeaten run for the season going, winning the 10km freestyle ahead of Andrew Circosta and Anthony Evans. Carla Ziilstra was the first woman across the line, with Allison McArdle squeezing Sally Cunningham out for second place. Full results available.

Results are also now up for the Cooma Clean out the Waxbox race on July 14, which was won by Ben Sim and Camille Melvey.

July 29 - Victorian Junior Championships
The Victorian Junior Championships were held on the weekend at the Falls Creek Nordic Bowl, and organised by Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club on behalf of the Victorian Snowsports Association. The events were sponsored by 1800 Reverse, who are providing significant support for junior cross country skiing at Falls Creek this season.

Andrew Mock from Telemark Nordic Ski Club recorded the fastest time in the first day's classic event, over 1 minute ahead of Daniel van der Ploeg from Birkebeiner. Nick Grimmer from Birkebeiner started fast and held the early lead over Mock before fading to finish in third place. Daniel VDP turned the tables in the second day's free technique 10 km to win by 38 seconds, but it was not enough to deny Mock the overall victory.

Esther Bottomley of Birkebeiner won the girls 5 km events comfortably on both days with a combined time of 38:20.6, well clear of the rest of the field. The next fastest girl in the 5km classic was fellow Birkebeiner Kelly Hertzog in the W14 class, while in the 5km freestyle Chloe McConville from Telemark pipped Hertzog by less than a second to take the second-fastest time.

The weekend's competition finished with the Victorian Interschool Relays. Competition was extremely close in the girl's relay, with Nicola Rodd from Scots School Albury holding off a fast finishing Kelly Hertzog from Mount Beauty Secondary College to claim victory in the girl's section. Mount Beauty dominated the secondary boys section to take first and second ahead of Alexandra Secondary College in third place.

Classic Results
Freestyle Results
Combined Results
Relay Results

July 26 - Lake Mountain Mini Series
The first event of the Lake Mountain Mini Series was held last Sunday July 21 at Lake Mountain. Over 60 young skiers competed in classes from Under 6 to Under 18. The series continues at Lake Mountain on Sunday August 4. Full results are available.

1800 Reverse Sponsors Junior Skiers
In a package negotiated by the Kangaroo Hoppet and including the Victorian and Australian Junior Championships, 1800 Reverse is providing significant support to our developing racers. Six scholarships will be given to the best Australians in the following age and distance classes at this years Hoppet.

Under 14, boys and girls, in the 7 km Joey Hoppet.
14 to 17 year old, boys and girls, in the 7 km Joey Hoppet
Under 23, men and women, in the 21 km Australian Birkebeiner

Each scholarship is worth $250. Cash prizes will also be distributed at each Victorian Championship event, and at the Australian Junior Championships.

Entry Forms from BNSC
The following entry forms are availble here in word format. If you are unable to download these and want to enter contact Judy Bottomley om 03 5754 1101.

Victorian Junior Sprints
Victorian Senior Sprints
Australian Junior Championships


July 25 - Victorian Junior Squad Time Trials
Time trials over 100m and 500m were held during the Victorian Junior Squad Camp at Falls Creek on July 7. These involved members of the Victorian Junior Squad and additional junior skiers from the Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club, Telemark Nordic Ski Club, Wangaratta Ski Club, and from the Ivanhoe Boys and Girls Grammar Schools. The number 1 Australian junior, Ben Sim from NSW, also took part. The 100m time trial was conducted on the straight stretch on the High Plains Rd above the Falls Creek Nordic Bowl, on a very slight uphill. The 500m time trial was on an undulating loop starting anf finishing in the Nordic Bowl. The results posted here include the two times and the age of each skier.

July 24 - ACT/NSW Juniors & Ski di Femme Results
More race results from the weekend. The ACT and NSW Junior Championships were held on the weekend at Perisher Valley, the former on Saturday in classic style and the latter on Sunday in freestyle. The overall fastest skiers in the longest distance each day were Ben Sim fron NSW and Sally Cunningham from the ACT, although Cunningham just squeezed in by 1 second in the classic 5km ahead of Aimee Watson.

ACT Junior Championships Results

NSW Junior Championships Results

Ski di Femme Results

July 22 - Birkebeiner Duathlon
Victoria's first duathlon event was held at Falls Creek on Saturday July 22. Over 60 skiers took part in the 5km and 10km distances, and congratulations should go to Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club for putting together a very professional changeover zone and a great event.

Lachlann Rodd and Mark van der Ploeg came in neck and neck to the changover in the 5km, with Rodd making the quicker change and taking a small break into the freestyle leg. The Telemark NSC skier extended his lead in the skate and went on to win by nearly 20 seconds.Neil van der Ploeg posted the fastest freestyle leg to move up from 5th to 3rd place.

The women's 5km event was comfortably won by Belinda Phillips, who posted the fastest time on both the classic and freestyle legs. Claire-Louise Brumley was next in and 27.5 seconds behind on the classic leg, however handed the second position to Robyn Rodd when she went for the boot change. Brumlry tried hard on the skating leg but couldn't close the gap, ending up in 3rd place 1:45 behind Phillips and 21 secondsa behind Rodd. Of the junior women Alice Bellingham posted the fastest classic leg, but was then caught by Jaffa Withers and then Chloe McConville on the skate.

Paul Murray was expected to be a contender in the classic leg of the 10km, however he lost a pole basket at the start and Ben Derrick was able to make a clear break. Nick Grimmer lead the race for second place into the changeover, with Dan van der Ploeg, Murray, Duane Butcher and Rob Curtis all within about 10 seconds but 50-60 seconds behind Derrick. Big BD extended his lead on the skate to win by 1:32 ahead of Dan van der Ploeg, with Murray in third place. Curtis 4th, Butcher 5th, and Grimmer fading on the freestyle leg to finish 6th. Full results now available.

Ski di Femme
Over 70 women and girls rocked up to the Birkebeiner Ski Di Femme day at Falls Creek on Sunday July 21. Instruction and coaching was provided by coaches and skiers from around the state, including current and former national team members. A low-key race was held in the afternoon, which saw a close tussle between one of Australia's top skiers Belinda Phillips and Norwegian Toril Pedersen, with the Norwegian coming out on top by less than a second.

July 17 - Laser Biathlon At Lake Mountain
An introductory Laser Biathlon day is being held at Lake Mountain this Saturday. There's plenty of snow and anyone can come along and have a go. The Laser Biathlon will be on demo at Helicopter flat from 10.00am, and organisers are also hoping to run a few small impromptu races.

For more information about Laser Biathlon and what's happening on the weekend, contact Paul Connor, the Executive Officer of the Australian Biathlon Association on 039 752 7973.

July 16 - More Racing News

Victorian Interclub Relays
The first event of the Victorian Interclub Competition, at Falls Creek on July 14. Three skiers per team, first leg classic and the next two freestyle. The Howmans Gap Allstars set a pretty crazy 2.5km loop which went up onto the High Plains road, turned straight up Pete's Panic towards the pine trees, left onto the Pipeline, and then basically down around and back to the Nordic Bowl.

In the men's open event the Birkebeiner number 1 team of Paul Murray, Nick Grimmer, and Dan van der Ploeg made a substantial early lead and were never threatened. Wangaratta held second place for while with a solid opening leg by Leon Spiller, however with their number 1 skier Ben Derrick absent (working) they were always going to struggle to stay up there. Birkebeiner 2 with Finn Marsland, Ronan Magarahan and Duane Butcher jumped up to seond place on the second leg, however Dave Hunt skied a solid leg for the Lake Mountain Nordic Team to put them within striking distance with their new recruit Frank Lundeen from the USA on the final leg. Frank closed the gap to under 10 seconds on the first lap, but Duane came flying home over the last few km to secure 1-2 for Birkebeiner. LMNT 3rd, Wangaratta 4th.

In the women's open event the Lake Mountain Nordic Team of Belinda Phillips, Penny Grose, and Fiona McMillan had little trouble in defending their club's title from 2000 (event not held in 2001). The overall Interclub event was won by Birkebeiner, with Wangaratta just pipping Telemark for second place. Waiting at the moment for the full results, they should be up in the next day or so.

NSW Duathlon
Not a large field for Australia's first ski Duathlon event at Perisher Valley on July 13. In the men's 10km event Ben Sim and Chris Darlington went neck and neck, before Ben pulled away to take a 45 second break into the change. Darlo made a lightening change in only 7 seconds, however Ben was already out on the freestyle leg and went on to win by 54 seconds from his NSWIS team-mate. Paul Circosta took third just ahead of Ewan Watson.

In the women's 5km Camille Melvey trailed Katie Calder into the changeover after the classic leg, however went out into the freestyle leg with a 44 second advantage after Katie went for the boot change. Katie, what were you thinking? About skiing each leg with proper equipment and not destroying perhaps. Camille went on to win by 45 seconds. In the junior 5km events the fastest skiers were Sally Cunningham and Callum Watson. Full results available courtesy of Peter Cunningham.

Cooma Clean out the Waxbox
Great weather again for this classic race at Perisher Valley on July 14. The 5km event was won by Ben Sim, ahead of Chris Darlington with Matt O'Rourke third. The first woman was Camille Melvey, with Leanne Laajokin second. The results have gone walkabout from the Cooma Ski CLub lodge, however we'll try and track them down later this week.

July 13 - Winter Reporting Begins!

Sorry folks for the late start to the Winter News reporting, but the skiing has just been too damn good! Heaps of snow everywhere and even Perisher Valley has had groomed tracks some of the time. Not sure of Mt Hotham, however tracks at Falls Creek and Lake Mountain are in fantastic condition. Ski competitions began last weekend at Perisher with the Cooma "Clean out the Cobwebs", and this weekend there is ski racing action north and south of the border. From now on updates will be coming at least once a week and sometimes 2-3 times if the excitement is just too much.

Cooma Clean out the Cobwebs
The opening race of the season on July 7 at Perisher Valley. A brief second hand report: There were 5km and 2.5km freestyle events on the 2.5km loop, women and men together in mass start. Andrew Circosta (CAC) came smoking out of the start, but then Chris Darlington (Boonoona) took command of the race. Darlo went clear and won by about 20 seconds, and on the last downhill Anthony Evans (Cooma) snuck past Circa to steal second place. Camille Melvey (Boonoona) the first woman and 6th overall, with Carla Zilstra-Evans (Cooma) second only 5 seconds ahead of Sally Cunningham (CAC). In the 2.5km Callum Watson took the honours 4 seconds ahead of Cameron Wall, with Dale Blake the first girl across the line. Full results available in the results section.

Snowgum Wodonga High Plains Tour
Held today at Falls Creek, 5km and 10km freestyle events. An interesting course set by the Howmans Gap Allstars, it followed the standard 1.5km loop then sent all the competitors back along the aqueduct and up Aitkens from the bottom. Then along the Pipeline and down to Panorama, the Sun Valley loop for the 10km skiers, and finishing in reverse along the 1.5km from the Hoppet start. The women started 10min ahead of the men, Belinda Phillips (Lake Mountain Nordic Team) was pretty much unchallenged in the 10km event, winning 3 1/2 minutes ahead of Robin Rodd (TNSC). It was a much closer battle in the 5km, with Kelly Hertzog (BNSC) coming out on top 29 seconds ahead of Julia Mitas (BNSC), with Alison Gargan (WSC) just 3 seconds further back.

Ben Derrick (WSC) went out hard in the men's 10km, letting all know that he will be a contender this season. "Sprinters" took up the challenge, Duane Butcher, Paul Murray and Nick Grimmer (all BNSC) trying hard to hold on until the start of Aitkens, but then BD made a clear break. As Duane and Nick dropped back, Daniel van der Ploeg (BNSC) quickly moved up through the field to become a lone chaser ahead of Paul. As they headed out into Sun Valley Frank Lundin from the USA moved into 4th place, with Dave Hunt (LMNT) in 5th. Dan VDP did a great job not to lose too much time on BD, and at the finish was only 49 seconds behind the 8-time Australian Champion (who won of course). Paul Murray third, and Nick Grimmer skied a great Sun Valley loop to pull himself up to 4th and then hold off Frank in the sprint. In the 5km it was neck and neck between Neil van der Ploeg (BNSC) and Lachlan Cann (TNSC), with the former getting away to win by 5 seconds, and Ian Bottomley (BNSC) taking third. Full results coming soon.

No news yet from the NSW Duathlon at Perisher Valley today, but look out soon for results from this event and also the Cooma Clean out the Waxbox on tomorrow. At Falls Creek tomorrow the Victorian Interclub Relays are sure to bring out the masses to compete for their clubs.

Australian Winter 2002 Images

Australian Birkebeiner Podium, Falls Creek, August 2002
From L-R: Esther Bottomley, Katie Calder, and a cheeky Jenny Altermatt

Semi-Final in Australian Sprint Championships, Perisher Valley, August 2002
From L-R: Ben Derrick, Duane Butcher, Ben Sim, and Byung Joo Park from Korea

Starter Brian Keeble at the Victorian Junior Sprints, Falls Creek, August 2002

Victorian Junior Sprint Final, Falls Creek, August 2002

Ben Sim, racing at Mt Hotham, August 2002

Esther Bottomley in Vic Interschool Relays

Start-line at Vic Interschool Relays 2002

Cal Britten changing in the Birkebeiner Duathlon

Ben Derrick, Falls Creek, July 2002

David Hunt, Frank Lundeen and Nick Grimmer, battling for 4-6th place in the 2002 High Plains Tour.  

Paul Murray leads 2002 Snowgum Wodonga High Plains Tour

Chris Darlington, Ben Sim and Robert Curtis, "Smash-Face" training at Perisher Valley 2002

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