The Canadian Press - Sunday Dec. 15, 2013 12:01 ET

Canadian cross-country ski team struggling to start season

Norway wins both pursuit races

Anders Gloeersen of Norway celebrates after winning the men's sprint competition in Davos on Sunday. (Arno Balzarini/Keystone/AP)

Canada's cross-country ski team struggled on Sunday in Davos, Switzerland, failing to make the top 30 at a World Cup event. 

Daria Gaiazova, of Banff, Alta., was the top woman in 42nd. Chandra Crawford, of Canmore, Alta., placed 43rd.   

Alex Harvey, of St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., was the top Canadian male in 45th. Toronto's Len Valjas placed 61st, while Devon Kershaw, of Sudbury, Ont., was 69th and Jesse Cockney, of Canmore, Alta.,finished 82nd.   

"We were bad today. There is no excuses and no two ways about it, but it was not for lack of trying and the team skiing their butts off," said coach Eric de Nys. "While it doesn't show in the results, we do feel it is getting better and it is going to take time. It just doesn't happen overnight."   

Although it was a disappointing result, Canada's cross-country ski team is still focused on preparing for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.  

"We need to keep in mind what the ultimate goal is and keep building towards it," said de Nys. "If we can pull a couple of medals out of Sochi in February, nobody will remember the weekend in Davos so we need to be patient and it will come."   

Norway's Marit Bjoergen won the women's race, her 62nd career World Cup victory. American Kikkan Randall was second while Germany's Denise Hermann sprinted into third spot.   

Norway's Anders Gloeersen won the men's race. Finland's Martti Jylhae celebrated a silver medal and Russia's Sergey Ustiugov won the bronze.

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