Kassel strides to gold at Masters World Cup

Nikki Kassel already knew the feeling of being a world champion cross-country skier.

Saturday on the Masters World Cup slopes in Beitstolen , Norway she was reminded how good that feels.

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He 45-year-old Prince George nurse posted the fastest overall time among 88 women on the way to a gold-medal finish in the 15-kilometre freestyle event at the Masters World Cup in Beitstolen , Norway .

Kassel , entered in the 45-49-year age class, completed the course in 40 minutes 17.0 seconds.

On Sunday, Kassel won silver in the women’s 10km freestyle race. She finished in 26:43, 49 seconds behind gold-medalist Sandra Wagenfuhr of Switzerland .

The weekend races marked the return for Kassel at the Masters World Cup. In 2017 in Kloster , Switzerland she won silver medals in the 15km and 30km freestyle events. In 2011, at Sovereign Lake near Vernon , Kassel captured gold in the 15km and 30 km freestyle and helped Canada win gold in the relay. She also claimed silver in the 10 km classic race.

In other results Sunday from Beitstolen, Scott Forrest of Prince George raced to a 24th-place result out of 49 in the men’s 60-65-year age class in the 10km classic event. Forrest finished in 31:37, 5:07 off the winning pace of Gianpaolo Englaro of Italy .

On Friday, Forrest placed 35th in his age class in the 15km classic technique race.

The team relays are on Tuesday followed by the long-distance classic races Wednesday and the long-distance freestyle events on Thursday.

Next Saturday, the 62-year-old Forrest is entered in the Birkebeiner, a 54 km classic technique race from Rena to Lillehammer while carrying a 3.5-kilogram backpack. The traditional race is symbolic of a winter trip made in 1206 by Norwegian loyalists to save Hakon Hakkonsson, the one-year-old heir to the throne of Norway .

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