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They’re Off! Quebec’s Pentathlon des Neiges Begins in Wintry Conditions

A heavy snowfall greeted the athletes this morning for the first day of racing at Quebec City’s Pentathlon des Neiges, the largest winter multisport event in the world.

Thanks to all the snow, race organizers had to shorten the course for today’s relay events. The bike course was changed to two loops (7 km – originally supposed to be 10.5 km), followed by a 3.5 km run, a 6.3 km ski, 3.6 km skate (originally supposed to be 4.4 km) and a 3.3 km snowshoe.

The “Bear Pong” team took the week’s first relay event in a close battle that saw the first two teams just seconds apart. The day continues with more relays, followed by the sprint portion of the ITU S3 World Cup Triathlon. Tomorrow sees the age group athletes compete in the S3 Triathlon (snowshoe, skate, ski) in the morning, followed by the elite competitors tomorrow afternoon.

By early afternoon the snow had changed to rain, making the conditions even more challenging for the competitors in the corporate relay, but that didn’t seem to slow down the athletes, or dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd as they enjoyed more winter racing.

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Check out some of the photos from today’s races.