February 16, 2013
Strong sixth for cross-country skier Len Valjas
By QMI Agency

Len Valjas of Canada competes during the final of the World Cup men's cross country sprint race in Tschierv, Jan. 1, 2013. (REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler)

Len Valjas overcame adversity by finishing sixth in a classic cross-country ski sprint race in Davos, Switzerland on Saturday.

The 24-year-old from Toronto was held up by three skiers that were tangled together on the long uphill that begins at the start during his quarterfinal heat.

"Len was at a complete standstill and I thought he was done," Canadian Cross Country Ski Team head coach Justin Wadsworth said in a release.

"What he did is something I have never seen before in World Cup cross-country skiing. I had coaches from around the world amazed. It shows he is in phenomenal shape."

The delay allowed the two leaders to open a lead of nearly 100 metres on the pack. Valjas turned on the jets and closed the gap where he finished second to move onto the semifinals.

After qualifying for the final, the impressive burst of energy earlier likely cost Valjas a spot on the podium for the third time this year.