Nature put winter firmly back into the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ for the last day of cross-country competition at Wanaka’s Snow Farm.
New snow drifting across groomed tracks threatened to delay the Classic Mass Start, the final cross-country event in the FIS Australia New Zealand Cup (ANC) series, but ski racers are made tough and the weather relented to make for exciting racing in wintery conditions.
In the Men’s 15 kilometre race, American Benjamin Lustgarten continued his winning ways in varying weather conditions.
With a first in Freestyle and second in Sprint in the last two days, Lustgarten led the four-lap race from the start, breaking away with fellow American Adam Martin. But they couldn’t lose Japan’s Kaichi Naruse, who was also having a productive Winter Games, having pushed Lustgarten hard with a second in Freestyle and third in Sprint.
Bermuda Winter Olympian Tucker Murphy finished 21st stopping the clock in a time of 1:07:57.3.