Connor Howe and Ivanie Blondin also crack top three of ISU World Cup rankings to conclude 2021-2022 season
HEERENVEEN, NETHERLANDS – On the last day of racing at the ISU World Cup Final, Laurent Dubreuil held onto his lead in the overall World Cup classification to take the first men’s 500m title of his career. Connor Howe was Canada’s sole medalist in racing on Sunday, taking home bronze in the men’s 1500m.
Dubreuil (Lévis, Que.) captured the overall World Cup title in the men’s 500m despite finishing just short of the podium in fourth place during Sunday’s race. Dubreuil’s consistency in the distance over the course of the season – reaching the podium in nine of ten attempts – allowed him to accumulate enough of a lead to sit at the top of the rankings with 614 points, ahead of Japan’s Tatsuya Shinhama (586 points) and Wataru Morishige (555 points).
Today, I was two thousandths of a second from bronze, but my goal this weekend was to continue to defend my position at the top of the overall classification. I had a good lead before this competition and knew that my preparation has not been ideal. I was still able to arrive with the energy and hope that allowed me to do two good 500m races. It has been a goal my whole career to achieve first place in the World Cup classification, and I am very proud to have accomplished it this year. It’s really a Cinderella story ending to a difficult few weeks.Laurent Dubreuil
Meanwhile, Howe’s time of 1:44.393 in the men’s 1500m put him in third place behind reigning Olympic Champion from the Netherlands Kjeld Nuis (1:42.486) and Thomas Krol, also Dutch, who took silver (1:43.797). The Canmore, Alta. native concludes the season in second position in the overall World Cup rankings with 256 points, a career best for the young skater.
I think the 1000m yesterday helped me get physically ready for the 1500m. Today, I was able to attack the corners and chase my pair, Peder Kongshaug, twice in the backstretch. That helped me get to up speed and do a good last lap. It was definitely special to skate in front of such a big crowd, especially since that hasn’t been possible the last two seasons! Finishing this season in second overall means the consistency was there for me, which is motivating and exciting for next year!Connor Howe
Ivanie Blondin (Ottawa, Ont.) came in fourth in the women’s Mass Start on Sunday to finish second overall in the World Cup rankings with 578 points behind Italy’s Francesca Lollobrigida (602 points). Teammate Valérie Maltais (Saguenay, Que.) finished seventh in the race and fifth overall.
The ISU World Cup Final marked the final international competition for the Canadian long track team in the 2021-2022 season. The skaters will take a short break from racing before beginning preparation for next season.
Full Canadian Results
• Brooklyn McDougall – 13th (15th overall)
• Laurent Dubreuil – 4th (1st overall)
• Gilmore Junio – 13th (16th overall)
• Valérie Maltais – 7th (8th overall)
• Ivanie Blondin – 11th (7th overall)
• Connor Howe – 3rd (2nd overall)
• Tyson Langelaar – 11th (14th overall)
• Valérie Maltais – 7th (11th overall)
Mass Start Men
• Jordan Belchos – 6th (13th overall)
Mass Start Women
• Ivanie Blondin – 4th (2nd overall)
• Valérie Maltais – 7th (5th overall)