The entire pack was more or less together at 4.5km going into the bridge. Then things got messy. This made me so mad. I have been feeling really good in my classic skiing and had great skis. I was sitting around 40th and skiing comfortable.
I am usually pretty good at anticipating the flow of traffic in a mass start race, but everything went down very quickly. Someone went down near the top of the bridge and I didn’t have time to get around the side of the group. You can see Newell just sneaking by on about an inch of snow.
Standing at a dead stop, I lifted my poles up so that they would have less chance of getting broken. The next few seconds are kind of hard to remember, someone hit me hard from behind and my pole snapped.
The worst part was that we were so tangled up that we had to wait for everyone to ski around us before we could untangle. It was a real mess. Then I had to actually move the Sweedes ski because of how tangled we were. We had some colorful discussions. I received a new pole within 400m but I lost contact with the group.
I was able to chase down Teo Peterson (Sweeden)(who as you can see was the one who really caused the damage) and Noeckler (Italy) the OPA Cup Leader. I skied the remainder or the race myself again trying to limit the time gaps for the 15km handicap start.