Newell 3rd in Drammen Sprint

BrianMarch 11, 2010

First, Congratulations to Newell on his podium finish today.  That was really cool.  The Drammen World Cup is one of the more prestigious and competitive sprints on the circuit so this is awesome.

20,000 people packed around a 1.2km loop in the city.  I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wish I had some pictures to really show what it is like.  Unfortunately I didn’t really get any of the race.

Athlete Lounge… pretty nice

We are staying at the same hotel all week (in Oslo) so we took the 45 min shuttle to Drammen and arrived pretty early.  Newell found us this place to hang out in.  We had to wander through a maze in a building to get here but it was really nice.

These boxes of fruit are all over the place.  In front of each countries wax room too.  I like it.  I think it helps keep the wax techs closer to the athletes weight.  What do you think Fish?

A 11 am the course is open to wax techs.  At 1 pm it is open to athletes for 55 minutes before the women start.  Everyone was ready with there skis.  All of the US skiers had two pairs of classic skis to test and a pair of skate skis to try.  The course was soft and everyone I saw used classic skis.

The wax service team here is top notch.  Everything was very smooth: adding structure, adjusting grip, changing baskets.  The crew did a really great job.

Classic sprints are not my best, but I felt pretty good with today.  It was pretty warm and sloppy and I struggled to stay smooth striding the first 300 meters of the course.  The second half is mostly double pole and I felt really good.  It is hard for me to understand where I lost 23 seconds out there.   This is a long way back (the top 30 were separated by 6 seconds).

My expectations were not high today.  The 50km is my focus event this week and today was a good experience.  I didn’t really notice the crowd during my race, but warming up it was really cool.  I had to keep telling myself to keep it easy, I was so fired up.

Kikkan crossing the river in Drammen

I wish I had some pictures from the race.  It was an incredible sight.  Classic sprinting is not my strong suit, but I am hear to race and when I race I am focused and don’t want distraction.  I was planning to take more pictures after my race, but my options back to the hotel in Oslo were a 3:30 shuttle or a 7:15 shuttle.  I wanted to cheer on Andy, but I need to focus on my recovery and the 50km.

Watching Newell's Podium Finish

We got stuck in traffic and missed the exciting quarterfinal.  We ran from the van to the lobby television to watch the finals.

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