Thursday, January 8, 2015

Tour de Ski

Most of us have completed our stint in the Tour de Ski this year. We raced four races in five days, which seems like a lot until you compare it to some other teammates who are doing seven races in nine days...yikes! One of the not so cool things about the Tour is that you get really tired, but one of the really cool things about the Tour is that you get really tired, and so does everyone else, and you never know when you can pull out a great race. For most people, myself included, the Tour is a mixed bag of highs and lows. The highlight of my Tour was definitely the skate sprint where I had my best result of the year so far, qualifying and ending up in 7th. My distance races weren't anything to write home about, but I feel like I'm taking baby steps in the right direction and it never hurts to get some more races under my belt!

Regardless of how the races go, it's hard not to smile when you have teammates as beautiful as this
Our Tour de Ski began in Oberstdorf, Germany with a skate 3k prologue, and a classic pursuit start 10k. Our first days in Oberstdorf were filled with blue skies, sunshine, and plenty of snow from the storm they had before we arrived. The night before the classic race it poured and was extremely windy, but the organizers did a great job of scrambling to make the race go off without a hitch. The prologue was a very hilly course. I didn't have a great race, but it was awesome to see my teammates Sadie and Liz place 7th and 8th. Sadie is sometimes labeled as a classic skier and Liz as a long distance skier, so they proved otherwise by kicking some butt in a short skate race. My classic race started off well, but went downhill quickly after the first third. It was a tricky waxing day and an easy course to get tired on. Sadie and Liz continued to have strong Tour races and both ended up in the top 15 after the day.
Skiing in Oberstdorf

Easy ski on the tourist tracks with Jess (Simi photo)

Cork got a little tired and had to take a break in the snow
Classic race in the Tour de Ski (Marcel Hilger photo)
The afternoon of the classic race we packed up and headed to Val Mustair, Switzerland for a skate sprint. We had a day off in between the 10k and the sprint to rest up and preview the course. Switzerland rarely disappoints as far as weather goes, and this trip was no exception. There wasn't any snow, but a clean white race course was laid out for our sprint in the middle of a field. It was a two lap course that was on the long side for sprints. On the morning of the race, I woke up a little sleepy after a restless night of sleep (I blame the full moon), but if I've learned anything, it's that you can still pull out a good race even when you're not feeling 100% when you wake up and start skiing. Because of the course length, I had a pacing strategy that I focused on for my prelim. I had no idea how I had done when I finished because racing on a hard course at altitude never feels good, but I crossed the line in 7th! I went on to win my quarter final in a close lunge and then place third in my semi final. Unfortunately, my semi final wasn't fast enough to be lucky loser, so I missed making the finals, but ended up 7th in the race. This was my first top 10 of the season and I was really happy with how the day went. As a team, it was one of our best days of the year so far. Simi placed 8th, Kik was 10th, and Sadie was 13th. Jessie also qualified for the heats and Andy was going really fast in his prelim until he had an unfortunate crash on one of the many icy downhill corners.

Sadie, me, and Ida hanging out in the sun the day before the sprint

My sprint heat (Fischer/Nordic Focus photo)
After the sprint, we drove to Toblach, Italy for the next set of races. Yesterday was a 5k classic for women and a 10k classic for men. My result wasn't anything exciting, but I had some moments where I felt really good, so I was happy with the day. What made me even happier was seeing my bud Sades place 8th, only 9 seconds off the freaking podium. Watch out for that girl!
Morning jog with Ides in Toblach before our 5k
Andy, Simi, Sadie, and I drove to Ramsau today for five days of recovery and training before we head to Estonia for the next World Cup weekend. Ramsau has plenty of snow and we are staying in the cozy hotel that the US Team always stays in. I'm psyched to be in a place where we can ski out our door, sauna at night, and put our feet up for more than a few days. We will have plenty of entertainment as we cheer at our TVs and watch the rest of the Tour. Thanks for following!

Check out the updated Johaug website to read about the athletes and gloves!

Thank you Hotel Alpina!

My artsy upside down shot of Sim in Oberstdorf

Jay Pea Pea, our french wax tech!

Sunshine and smiles in Switzerland!

1 comment:

  1. We love your up dates! Big (((hugs)))) from Peru, VT 😍