In the end it was skate skis and a gold medal for Astrid Jacobsen of Norway at the Junior World Championships in Tarvisio.
She tried it only once previously in an official race. It was in the prolog at Beitostolen in the Norwegian season opener this past fall that Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen raced on skateskis and double poled the entire classic sprint course. She easily advanced from the prolog, but then switched to classic skis for the heats.
Ahead of Monday’s sprint race at junior Worlds decided that she should try using skate skis again in the relatively easy course in Tarvisio. But only to make it extra exciting and wait all the way to the finale before she pulled out the skate skis. She was the only one in the finale who skied without kick-wax.
– We had a discussion about it before the start, and Astrid was very clear in what she wanted and made that decision very firmly. She was supported by the staff, said coach Fredrik Aukland.
Aukland is now praising Jacobsen for the tough choice.
– It was very daring.
He says that Astrid has developed a lot during the last year.
– It was very positive for Astrid to train with the Norweigian National team. She has made lots of progress and is professional in every way, says Aukland.
Jacobsen had a 10 meter lead on her competitors going in to the long uphill in Monday’s final. She was caught by Charlotte Kalla (raced on kick wax) of Sweden at the top, but Astrid passed her again in the downhill and had no problem double poling to the finish and claiming the gold.
Two gold’s in two different Worlds (Sapporo and Junior Worlds) in only a few weeks says it all — The Worlds best classic sprinter in 2007.