Andrew Johnson Like Pragelato Courses

FasterSkierFebruary 15, 2006

How did the pursuit go for you? You and Carl were pretty close. Did you work together at all?

The pursuit was okay. It started really well…I was with the leaders through 7.5 K which was good. But then I faded for the second half of the classic and lost contact with the lead group which, in these mass start races, pretty much ensures that you're going to be minutes off the pace – the lead group moves fast the whole time. Carl and I skied together for portions of the skate leg. I felt strong early on and he had a little more left at the end, but we skied together some time in the middle of the race.

What do you think of the trails at Pragelato Plan?
They're great. Hard, fair, and fun. Some of the harder climbs and faster descents are reminescent of Soldier Hollow. There's also a portion of the venue that is also realtively flat for world cup and olympic courses these days. It's a nice combination. For the 50k we'll ski everything (5 times) and I think that'll be a really nice course.

What is your next race, and what are you focusing on as you prepare for it?
I'll race the 15k on Friday. Today I skated very easy for an hour and fifteen minutes…tomorrow I'll classic ski and throw in a couple easy intervals after I finish testing the skis. Not much to change at this point…simply concentrating on doing what I have to to stay healthy, relaxed, and feeling good.

How does this Olympic experience compare with 2002?

Well, it was no secret that from a logistical and organizational standpoint that the Italians would keep things interesting. They've certainly held up their end of the deal on that front, but overall things are running fairly smoothly. I guess we don't have the home-field advantage this time around, but we've been here a few times before and we spend a lot of time at this same altitude…we've prepared well enough to feel that we're racing on equal terms with anyone else. We're staying in the athletes' village which is nice…anytime we're in one place for over three weeks it's nice to have some of the distractions that living in this environment provides. I know that everyone's expecting more from these games from a performance standpoint…we'd like to provide a little excitement for all our supporters who are here and back home…

Thanks Andrew, and good luck!


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