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Grey Takes Can National Title, Holmes Surprises Canadian Women

On a day of wall to wall blue skis and sunshine, the first individual start races of Canadian National Championships kicked off in Canmore, Alberta.

Slick snow, warm temperatures, and a course which featured a few of the Canmore Nordic Centers notoriously difficult climbs awaited the top Canadian racers Sunday as they raced 10 and 15 k individual start freestyle events.

Heavy favourite George Grey (CNST) lived up to his billing, earning the win in the deep open men category. Second-place Graeme Killick (CNST) finished 14 seconds back of Grey, while Kevin Sandau (AWCA-CNST) finished third, 20 seconds off the mark set by Grey.

In open women, the top Canadian women were upstaged by a strong American.

Chelsea Holmes (Sugar Bowl Academy – Far West) surprised the top Canadians, finishing 13 seconds ahead of Emily Nishikawa (AWCA). Brittney Webster (AWCA-CNST) rounded out the podium, less than a second back of Nishikawa in third position.

Holmes is not an unknown – she has a record of top finishes, especially in skate races. Most recently, she finished 2nd at the SuperTour Aspen Owl Creek Chase, a 21 k freestyle event in February.

Canadian National Championships continues Tuesday with individual start classic racing.

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