Len Valjas of Canada competes during the final of the World Cup men's cross country sprint race in Tschierv January 1, 2013. REUTERS/ Dominic Ebenbichler
Len Valjas earned Canada’s first cross-country skiing podium finish of the season on the first day of 2013.
The 24-year-old, who stands six-foot-six, won bronze in a skate-sprint race in Val Mustair, Switzerland on Tuesday in the third stage of the Tour de Ski.
“It was awesome,” said Valjas, who is competing in his first Tour. “I was super happy and everyone else did well to.”
Valjas, who was hampered by a broken hand during the 2012 portion of this cross-country skiing season, posted the 13th best time in qualifying. He was one of the two lucky losers in the semifinal round -- grabbing third in his heat in a photo finish and posting a quick enough time to earn one of the six spots in the final.