My final race before the Christmas break was in La Cluzas, France. The 6 hour car ride was from Davos was much more enjoyable than having to deal with the crowds at the airport, airline delays, and lost baggage. The coaches and I decided that it would be a better choice for me to skip the 30km skate race on Saturday to save some energy for the 4x10km relay the next day. The order for the relay was me 1st, Devon 2nd, Ivan 3rd, and Alex 4th. The temperature was warming up really fast on the morning of the race. By race time the temperature was almost at zero and it was starting to snow. I haven’t had many races with these conditions so it was extremely hard to find a good pair of skis. The track was starting to get glazed during my warm-up so I had some more grip wax put on my skis. The first 5 km of the race flew by without any problems, I felt very comfortable with the pace and was able to stay with the leaders. While climbing the hills I could feel my skis starting to collect snow and start to ice. The icing seemed to get progressively worse until the 7km mark. When I started making my move to get closer to the front of the pack, my skis stopped sliding completely and I fell head over heels in the track. I lost contact with the group after this wipeout and I tried hard to catch up. I lost valuable time at the top of each climb kicking my skis on the ground trying to get the ice to clear off of my bases. At the end of my leg I lost 1:18 in the last 2.5km, ending up in 14th. The skis I picked for this race were definitely the wrong ones for this condition. Like I said earlier, I haven’t had too much practice in these tricky temperatures. My teammates skied amazingly and brought us up to a 9th place at the finish!
This is the end of my Fall World Cup trip. I had such a great time travelling and racing and sharing great memories with my teammates.
I owe a huge thank you to the coaches for taking me along on this trip and for the wax techs for always doing a great job on the skis.
Now I am off to Thunder Bay to race the U23 Trials races followed by some more racing in Europe.
Happy New Year!