Another week, & another weekend of racing in the books!
1/14/23 Super Tour – 32 km classic mass start
3rd overall, 2nd u23
What a fun day, but man I’m still sore! We previewed the full racecourse the first day we skied on the Birkie trails at Cable and realized that it could potentially be double poled. I was hesitant to commit to such a challenge but made the decision to double pole the morning of the race after some ski testing.
The pace was honest from the start and settled down a few km into the race, with a group of 10 or so of us skiing together. Sometime around the 10 km mark, during the longest uphill, stride-able section, Peter injected some pace, opening a gap on the field with Zanden and I making our way off the front of the bunch as well. Eventually we brought Peter back and the three of us skied together for the rest of the race, more or less. On the last major climb, with about 3 km to go, Peter was able to gap Zanden and I. From there we were just trying to claw him back, but simply ran out of real estate. All around it was a super cool race! 1x 32 km loop, rolling hills, a rare Midwest sunny day, and some speedy boys made for a great experience. In the end I’m happy to walk away with my first Super Tour podium, happy with how the body responded after a full week of racing at nationals, and happy with the double poling experience. It’s also encouraging to realize that if I was firing on all cylinders during the 20k at Nationals, as today’s 1st and 2nd place guys were 3rd/4th at Nationals, a top 5 could’ve been in the cards.
1/15/23 Super Tour- classic sprint
10th overall, 3rd u23
Before yesterday’s race, I had mentally committed to going all in for the 32k. I decided I’d rather win one day and be 20th the next day then be 6th both days. This made the decision to double pole the 32k easier, because I knew I’d be sore the next day if I did, which might compromise today’s sprint performance. In the end, it definitely did, but was not the main factor to missing my goals today. In the qualifier, which I was 12th in, I almost crashed early on, losing seconds, and tried to make that time up over the rest of the race, which led to some frantic skiing and more bobbles, and more time lost. Rarely do you put an entire race together perfectly, but on the flipside, I’ve probably never linked a course together so poorly. Moving onto the ¼ finals I managed to hang onto the leaders, finish 3rd in the heat and move onto the semis. In both the 1/4s and the semis I botched the start and the first uphill which left me in last place on the first downhill. This meant I had a lot of catching up to do on the biggest climb of the course. This proved to be too much to make up in the semis. But today was more or less a bonus after yesterday. I learned a lot, and it’s always fun to rub elbows racing.
Next stop: Lake Placid for World University Games! I race the 4×7.5km relay on Friday, 1/19 starting at 11am, and a 30km skate mass start on Sunday, 1/22, starting at 10:00am. Here is the link for the results: ,https://lakeplacid2023-results.microplustimingservices.com/#/athletic-sports-schedule/CCS/* The races air live on ESPN and ESPN+. If you already have these channels then you’re set, if not, you can subscribe to ESPN online if you so please.
Should be some good racing, with some good competition! Hopefully the conditions hold out and remain reasonable for the races. Then after World U, it’s back to AK for the first time in a couple months!
Until next time,