Perras rolls to victory
A summer of speed work began to show dividends for Scott Perras on Sunday (Sept. 9) as he captured the men’s pursuit gold medal at the North American Summer Biathlon Championships at the Canmore Nordic Centre.
Perras had the fastest legs and shot 15 for 20 for the win, defeating national team teammates Nathan Smith and Scott Gow.
“My legs were decent. We had a big intensity week, double poling up Norquay (road) on Monday then up again Wednesday. Yesterday, they were feeling bad, but today they’re better,” Perras said.
The Saskatchewan native missed five targets, but had the speed to carry the win. He’s worked this summer on increasing his shooting speed and wants to earn a top 20 finish on the World Cup circuit this year and earn a spot at the World Championships.
“I’ve been doing a lot on my ski technique and shooting speed. Ideally, sub 30 seconds is standard.”
Perras will be counted on heavily this year as the team’s top male athlete as Brendan Green recovers from back surgery. Green had to have a second surgery to repair a ruptured disc and will miss at least the first half of the season.
Nathan Smith, one of the fastest shooters in the world, finished second at the Nordic Centre. He shot 19 for 20 in the pursuit event.
“I was sick for a week and a half before this and had to skip a few workouts and ease off the training. My legs felt pretty heavy today.”
He closed the gap on Perras later in the race, but couldn’t catch his teammate on the field.
“Scott’s a good roller skier, but I knew what I had to do today and not worry about anyone else,” Smith said.
Smith would like to spend his season on the World Cup, but believes he’ll likely drop down and compete in a few IBU Cup races as well this year.
Green and J.P. LeGuellec were both missing from the race, as was Marc-Andre Bedard and Kurtis Wenzel. Le Guellec and Bedard train primarily in Quebec.
Head coach Matthias Ahrens said the roller ski race was a good fitness test for his team. Coupled with the tough training week, he tried to simulate a tough World Cup week to see how the athletes would handle the physical and mental rigours.
“We do time trials all the time in practice, but it’s not the same. With this, we have officials, media, spectators. It gives it a different atmosphere and gives more mental training for the athletes. It’s closer to a real race,” Ahrens said.
His team didn’t disappoint, he said.
“I’m very happy on the shooting side. Overall, the races were good,” he said.
The biathlon A and B squads have several training camps scheduled before the start of their 2012/2013 season in late November.
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