Canada's Valerie Maltais scores silver at speed skating World Cup in Norway
Saguenay, Que., native earns 3rd podium finish of season
Canada's Valerie Maltais is back on the mass start podium.
Maltais, of Saguenay, Que., won silver at the speed skating World Cup on Friday in Stavanger, Norway, improving on her third-place finish from November in Beijing.
The Netherlands' Irene Schouten won gold with her time of eight minutes 36.25 seconds, while Maltais was just behind at 8:37.19. American Mia Kilburg-Manganello took bronze at 8:40.01.
The often-chaotic mass start lived up to its reputation, with the podium finishers breaking away from the chase pack early in the race and maintaining their distance.
WATCH | Maltais wins silver:
That led to a bit of a traffic jam during the final sprint, with Schouten, Maltais and Kilburg-Manganello forced to navigate a busy track to get to the finish line.
Ottawa's Ivanie Blondin, the reigning Olympic silver medallist in the event, was disqualified along with nine other skaters after being lapped by the race leaders.
Maltais, 33, has enjoyed a successful start to her season, helping Canada win gold in the lone team pursuit while also notching a fourth-place finish in the season-opening mass start in Japan.
"I'm happy to have experienced a breakaway so early in the race today," Maltais said in a release. "Honestly, I wasn't expecting this kind of race.
"I'm grateful to have had a teammate like Ivanie today, but the way the race ended was a bit strange because the frontrunners overtook the pack just before the breakaway finished the race. We'll be back on track next week."
Canadians finished 16th, 17th and 18th in the men's 1,000, with Connor Howe of Canmore, Alta., leading the way at 1:10.04, followed by Vincent De Haître of Cumberland, Ont., at 1:10.09 and Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, Que., at 1:10.37.
Howe later placed 18th in the men's mass start, while Antoine Gelinas-Beaulieu of Sherbrooke, Que., was 14th.
Live action from Stavanger continues on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. ET on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.