Russian Trifecta at 2012 Kangaroo Hoppet at Falls Creek

Press Release from the Kangaroo Hoppet, Saturday August 25

The Kangaroo Hoppet, Australia’s international ski marathon, was held today at Falls Creek in north-east Victoria. Heavy snow falls and wind during the lead up to the race caused the main race to be shortened from 42km to 30km. It was a Russian trifecta in the men’s Hoppet, world number five Alexander Legkov winning ahead of team-mates Ilia Chernousov and Ivan Alypov. In the women’s Hoppet Maria Graefnings from Sweden won ahead of Marina Chernousova from Russia and two-time local winner Esther Bottomley from Mount Beauty. The Kangaro Hoppet is part of the Worldloppet series, which features 16 races in 16 countries and has annual participation of 125,000 skiers. Over 1,100 competitors from 27 nations entered in the three Kangaroo Hoppet race distances of 30km, 15km, and 7km.

Four-time Kangaroo Hoppet winner and Falls Creek local Ben Derrick lead a pack of around 15 skiers for most of the 7km Sun Valley loop before Legkov and Chernousov put on a series of surges starting from the Rocky Valley Dam wall. A chasing pack of five skiers reformed containing two more Russians Alypov and Alexey Tchernousov, Valerio Leccardi from Switzerland, and Australians Alex Almoukov and Callum Watson. After the first 15km lap Tchernousov made a move, dropping Leccardi and Watson. At the finish these three groups made three exciting sprint finishes; first Legkov outsprinted Chernousov for the win, then Alypov took third place just ahead of a photo finish between Tchernousov and Almoukov, then finally Leccardi overtook Watson down the final straight to claim sixth place overall. Derrick was eighth, ahead of Teppan from Estonia and Reto Burgermeister from Switzerland.

The pre-race women’s favourite Graefnings had to work hard for her victory after missing the start and having to pick her way up through the field. It took until nearly the 10km mark before the Swede managed to reel in the female leader Chernousova, however she was uncertain whether another of the top skiers Brooke Darlington of Canada was ahead of her or not. As it turned out Darlington was back in fourth, and Graefnings won comfortably a minute and half ahead of Chernousova. Bottomley’s third place secured her win in the FIS Australia – New Zealand  Cup series, which gives her a direct quota place in the next World Cup season starting in November. After Darlington fifth place went to Australian team member Lescinska Grimmer, with former team member Chloe McConville in sixth. Seventh was Isabel Knaute from Germany, the manager of the Russian team that has been training at Falls Creek throughout August.

In the 15km Australian Birkebeiner Paul Kovacs from Porepunkah won ahead of Damon Morton from Marlo and Nick Montgomery from Melbourne. Local Mt Beauty junior Anna Trnka won the women’s event ahead of Lucy Glanville from Sydney and Xanthea Dewez from Wangaratta. In the 7km Joey Hoppet Hamish Roberts from Canberra and Jillian Colebourn from Sydney were the winners.

2012 Kangaroo Hoppet Race Result Summary

30km Freestyle Kangaroo Hoppet

Men
1          Alexander Legkov        RUS          1:23:00
2          Ilia Chernousov            RUS          1:23:01
3          Ivan Alypov                   RUS          1:26:35
4          Alexey Chernousov     RUS          1:26:38
5          Alex Almoukov             AUS          1:26:38
6          Valerio Leccardi           SUI           1:27:39
7          Callum Watson              AUS          1:27:40
8          Ben Derrick                     AUS          1:29:03
9          Vahur Teppan                EST           1:30:57
10        Reto Burgermeister     SUI           1:30:58

Women
1          Maria Graefnings           SWE          1:33:13
2          Marina Chernousova   RUS          1:34:46
3          Esther Bottomley          AUS          1:38:40
4          Brooke Darlington         CAN         1:42:04
5          Lescincka Grimmer      AUS          1:48:03
6          Chloe McConville          AUS          1:53:37
7          Isabel Knaute                 GER          1:53:59
8          Belinda Phillips              AUS          1:57:16
9          Ashleigh Spittle             AUS          1:59:13
10        Alice Hamilton              AUS          1:59:15

15km Australian Birkebeiner

Men
1          Paul Kovacs                     AUS          46:41
2          Damon Morton              AUS          46:54
3          Nick Montgomery        AUS          47:19

Women
1          Anna Trnka                    AUS          53:54
2          Lucy Glanville              AUS          54:41
3          Xanthea Dewez             AUS          57:10

7km Joey Hoppet

Men
1          Hamish Roberts           AUS          19:03
2          Liam Burton                  AUS          20:35
3          Matt Bull                         AUS          21:12

Women
1          Jillian Colebourn          AUS          22:21
2          Katarina Paul                 AUS          22:56
3          Sabrina Howell              AUS          23:56

Full results are available via the www.hoppet.com.au website.

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