Valérie Maltais plays bold in Poland and finishes second in the mass start

Val&rie;rie Maltais plays bold in Poland and finishes second at the start grouped


(Sportcom) – Subscriber to the first step of the podium in the team pursuit, long track speed skater Valérie Maltais won her first individual medal of the season, when she placed second in the mass start of the World Cup by Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Sunday, in Poland. 

While the favorites kept observing each other in the peloton, Maltais slipped away from them in the second half of the race. Once alone in the lead, the skater from La Baie was joined by the Japanese Momoka Horikawa.

The two leaders exchanged relays while behind, the hunt was slow to organize. The 30m gap quickly widened to almost 70m with four laps to go out of a total of 16.

With two laps to go, the leading pair saw victory was close at hand and both skaters picked up the pace. The Quebecer wedged herself behind the Japanese and then tried to overtake her on the home stretch, except that Horikawa held on. Behind, Ontario's Ivanie Blondin won the peloton sprint to join Maltais on the podium.

In the men's 1,000 meters, Laurent Dubreuil had a great start, but he lacked pace with around 300 meters to browse. The Olympic vice-champion in the specialty finished in tenth place, trailing the winner, Dutchman Wesly Djis by 1.24 seconds, who set a track record in 1 min 8.52 s.

Also in this 1,000 meters, Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu took 14th place (+1.37 seconds).