The Tour de Ski, a flagship event on the international cross-country skiing calendar, ended on Sunday with the 10km freestyle mass start in Val di Fiemme, Italy. Nine days of competition with, in total, seven events to go: Antoine Cyr and Olivier Léveillé are far from having had a relaxing New Year.
Without World Championships and Olympic Games, the 2023-2024 Tour de Ski was the highlight for cross-country skiing athletes and fans.
After fighting a virus during the holidays, Cyr only hoped for one thing: to be at the start on day one, in Dobbiaco. Luckily for him, his wish was granted.
“Being able to recover from the flu and be at the start of the Tour de Ski was already quite an achievement, in my opinion. After that, doing well at the Tour de Ski is even better! », indicated the cross-country skier from Outaouais, just after finishing this veritable cross-country skiing marathon.
Last year, during his first participation in the Tour de Ski, Cyr finished 16th in the general classification. This year, he proudly came close to the top 10 with a 12th place finish.
Norwegian Harald Østberg Amundsen finished at the top of the general ranking, while American Jessica Diggins triumphed in the women’s category.
“Twelfth in the Tour de Ski, I think it’s one of the good results that Canada has had, including the Alex Harvey years,” continued.
His best finish came in the fifth event, the 20km classic-style pursuit on the Swiss slopes, where he finished seventh, just under 50 seconds behind the first cross-country skier.
“In cross-country skiing, like in any other sport, to get on the podium, the stars have to align. You have to have a good performance and the physique is there. In Davos, during the 20k, the stars aligned. I think it’s my highlight of the Tour de Ski. “, he confided in the comfort of his Italian apartment.
Sunday, in the 10 km free mass start event, Antoine Cyr took 14th place, 1 minute 34 seconds behind the French winner, Jules Lapierre. The podium was completed by the German Friedrich Moch and the Frenchman Hugo Lapalus.
“It’s a stage that I always dread a little because it’s not normally my cup of tea. Today I had a really good race and I was able to finish fourteenth while protecting my general classification. »
“It was a complicated Tour de Ski, but when you are well surrounded with a good team and good support, you are able to get through it. I think that 12th today is a great reward for the whole support team and my coach at home,” he analyzed.
Satisfied with his performances overall, Antoine Cyr was not afraid to confide to Sportcom that the most demanding during this type of competition is the travel.
“As soon as we finish the races, we jump in the car and drive for hours to get to the next stage. It’s difficult physically and mentally, because it’s not the best way to recover from a ski race,” explained Antoine Cyr, who had the chance to ski in front of his parents for the very first time in Europe .
“I spend a lot of time in Europe. It’s almost my second home because I spend a little more than five months here per year, not counting training camps. […] I am happy to be able to show them my daily life when we are in Europe. »
For his part, Olivier Léveillé also took part in the last start of the event, where he ranked 45th with a time of 36 minutes 53.1 seconds, which gave him 45th place in the general classification of the Tour ski.
After such a physically and mentally busy week, the vacation will be well deserved for the cross-country skiers of La Belle Province. Cyr will also take the opportunity to go on a family vacation to Venice, just to take a few days off!