MORE than 1000 competitors skied through the starting line for the 2014 Kangaroo Hoppet last weekend at Falls Creek, and our local skiers had podium finishes.
Mt Beauty’s Phillip Bellingham finished in an impressive second place just behind Switzerland’s Valerio Leccardi, in the 42km event, and was closely followed by Porepunkah’s Paul Kovacs, who finished in third.
Both Bellingham and Kovacs competed against some of the world’s best distance cross country skiers.
The main pack in the men’s race broke up early on with Leccardi and Bellingham sharing the lead and skiing away and as the duo started up the “paralyser” climb, Leccardi turned up the heat and left Bellingham behind.
Bellingham had safely secured second place by the end of the first loop.
Kovacs said he faced strong competition for third place with Estonia’s Vahur Teppan and USA’s Thomas Smith putting the pressure on.