Karl Saidla races for XC Ottawa www.xcottawa.ca He will be racing this week in the Canmore World Cup
Early this week I had the chance to spend a few minutes talking to both Sara Renner (Bronze medal in the Sprint at Sovereign Lake) and Phil Widmer ( Fourth fastest qualifying time at Sovereign Lake. Here is what Phil had to say!
Did you have any idea how well you had skied without having seen the results page?
No. No idea at all. I tried to ski just like I have during the other sprints this year. My body felt good. I focussed on skiing technically well, being explosive, maintaining a long glide phase and not rushing or panicking.
How did things go for you in the heats?
To make a long story short it was made clear to me that I need more experience with racing in the heats. It was certainly a good learning experience. There are no pushovers in that kind of racing and everybody is fast. I should have asserted myself better. I also made a big move to get to the front (in which he went from last to first in about 100m) too early. I was too far behind at the start which made it necessary to spend quite a bit of energy trying to get to the front.
Does placing fourth in qualifying change your perspective at all?
It definitely gives me a bit more confidence. It is good to know that basically I am fast enough to be competitive at the World Cup level. Now it is basically a matter of improving my endurance and becoming more experienced with head to head racing.
Is there anything in particular that you think has helped you this year?
I didn’t make any major changes to my training but it has been great to live with Chris Jeffries and Devon Kershaw (both of the Canadian National Team). Both of them are very experienced and have been very helpful.