Olympians criticize Whistler's trails

BOB MACKIN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

The weather was ideal but some world cup cross-country skiers said the Whistler Olympic Park trails were not.

Italian Pietro Piller Cottrer gave it thumbs down after winning Saturday's 30 kilometre pursuit at the 2010 Winter Olympics test event.

"I have to admit, the previous Olympic courses were better," said Piller Cottrer, who won gold and bronze at Turin 2006. "If they made this up as new, they could do something better."

Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk won the women's 15 km pursuit and said more uphills could make it on-par with the Canmore Nordic Centre, which was built for Calgary 1988.

"I was almost crying, because for me this is a very easy track," said Kowalczyk, who won bronze at Turin 2006.

Canmore's Ivan Babikov and Sara Renner finished sixth in their respective pursuit races. Meanwhile,

Rossland, B.C.'s George Grey and Alex Harvey of St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., teamed up for bronze in Sunday's team sprint.

VANOC said 7,500 people attended the $120 million Callaghan Valley venue from Friday to Sunday.

Sport vice-president Tim Gayda said "we would liked to have been pushed a little harder with the weather" to test the workforce and field of play under challenging conditions.

He'll get another chance during the Jan. 23-25 ski jumping world cup.


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