Skiing

Canada's Babikov skis to bronze in final pre-season race

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The Canadian Press
11/17/2012 10:50:50 AM
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BRUKSVALLARNA, Sweden -- Canada's Ivan Babikov captured a bronze medal Saturday in his final race before the World Cup cross-country ski season starts next week.

The 32-year-old from Canmore, Alta., covered the 15-kilometre course in 31 minutes 50.0 seconds.

"That was a great start for sure," said Babikov, who was in eighth spot midway through the race. "I started out pretty slow on the first loop, but then went out on the second lap and got into a good tempo. I made up some time on the final loop and was really happy to finish third."

The two-time Olympian shared the podium with Swedish skiers Johan Olsson, who won in a time of 31:17.3, and Daniel Richardsson, second in 31:28.4.

Devon Kershaw of Sudbury, Ont., who was a battling a sore ankle, finished 10th. Calgary's Kevin Sandau was 36th in the field of 116 skiers.

Babikov is one of four Canadian men ever to win a World Cup cross-country ski race, in 2009.

The World Cup kicks off with a 15-kilometre race next Saturday.

Ivan Babikov (Photo: JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

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(Photo: JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)
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