Calgary / Canada

#WCSpeed                                 #SpeedSkating

After her 5000m gold in Stavanger two weeks ago, veteran Claudia Pechstein (GER) claimed another World Cup victory when she crossed the line first in the mass start in Calgary on Sunday.

GettyImages 884960092

Pechstein took advantage of indecision in the pack when no one wanted to sacrifice their chances in a chase of the escapees.

Saskia Alusalu (EST) had attacked early on, and halfway through the race, Pechstein, Mia Manganello (USA) and Elena Moeller-Rigas (DEN) joined her in front.

In the pack, Ivanie Blondin (CAN) made an effort to organize a chase together with teammate Keri Morrison, but no one else cooperated and the Canadian efforts came to nothing.

Up front, Pechstein increased the pace heading into the final lap to jump away from her fellow escapees. She maintained the gap to finish half a second ahead of Moeller-Rigas, who took silver.

Nana Takagi (JPN) grabbed the bronze, overtaking Alusalu on the final straight. Manganello dropped back further and eventually had to settle for sixth place.

“I thought I’d try something,” Pechstein said.

“I know that I cannot win the sprint, so I tried an escape, together with Mia and Elena. We worked together well. It’s a pity for Mia that she couldn’t get a medal, too, but that’s racing.

“It’s incredible to grab another gold aged 45, but everyone can win a mass start when they don’t work together in the pack. They waited too long.”

Ayano Sato (JPN), who finished 10th in Calgary, retains the World Cup lead with 128 points, ahead of Francesca Lollobrigida (ITA) on 120 points and Pechstein with 120. 

Giovannini also exploits indecisive pack

In the men’s mass start, the pack also waited too long and Andrea Giovannini (ITA) took advantage.

The Italian took gold with a 5.31-second advantage over Reyon Kay from New Zealand. Hongli Wang (CHN) collected the bronze just behind Kay, while the bunch finished more than 17 seconds behind the winner.

Giovannini attacked with six laps to go. Kay and Wang were the only ones to react but they could not stay with him to the line.

With four laps remaining Giovannini was so far ahead, he could see the back of the bunch on the straights. He easily stayed out of sight, as did Kay and Wang.

Kay took the overall lead in the World Cup men’s mass start. The New Zealander has collected 120 points in two races to date. Seung-Hoon Lee (KOR), who came 13th in Calgary, is second with 118 points and Joey Mantia (USA) third on 112.

Full results and classifications. Follow the discussion on social media by using #WCSpeedSkating and #SpeedSkating and watch the live stream on the ISU Skating Channel.