For a guy who’s usually found throwing himself off the end of ski jumps, Wesley Savill looked pretty comfortable powering through the historic ski trails between Lake Louise and Banff.
Even sans ski jump, Savill, one of Canada’s rare nordic combined athletes, still managed to secure the win Sunday (Jan. 21) at the Lake Louise to Banff Loppet.
Double poling through a dusting of snow, Savill finished the race in 3:25:48, a minute ahead of Ian Daffern. Lincoln Smith finished third (3:30:58).
Savill had a good strategy leading into the race, but it fell to pieces under a blanket of fresh snow.
“Initially, my strategy was to get a gap, but with the fresh snow, I couldn’t get away. I decided it was going to be a war of attrition out there, and it worked out well,” Savill said.
He and Daffern skied together for much of the race, working together over the 50 kilometre course, which was cut short again this year, stopping at the Sawback picnic area.
Flood mitigation work meant the race couldn’t reach Banff for the second year in a row.
While he’s accustomed to skiing 10 km skate races, this was out of his comfort zone.