Drammen top 10!!!!

Lenny ValjasFebruary 23, 2011
After a disappointing World U23 Championship, it was time for me to focus on the biggest races of my life; the Senior World Championships. I had almost two weeks before the rest of the World Championship team arrived so I decided to go train at altitude in Livigno, Italy with my teammate Alex Harvey and my coach Louis. 

The weather was absolutely amazing while we were there. The sun was out every day and I was warm enough to ski around in a t-shirt. Alex and I logged some good hard hours on the trails preparing ourselves for the big show. It was a bit sad to leave the amazing Italian food and the perfect weather, but we knew that we had to go meet up with the rest of our team in Norway. We spent the first week in Lillehammer tapering and getting ready for the World Cup in Drammen, Norway and the World Champs just 4 days later.

The Drammen sprint course suited me very well, it was a fast and flat twisty course. In the Qualifier I one skated the entire lap and posted my best ever finish in a World Cup Qualifier. I finished in 4th place 1.1 seconds from first. Midway throught the qually, I felt so good that I thought that maybe I paced myself too much, but as it turned out my pacing was close to perfect.

In the heats I tried to ski as smart as possible, no mistakes! For the first time in my life I made it to the Semi Final! I skied in second for most of the way until just before the final sprint where I decided to take the lead. I sprinted side by side with Petter Northug for 200 meters and advanced to the semi final fairly easily. 

Leading the sprint in front of tons of Norwegian fans. (Thanks for the great photo Brooke!)

Quarter final 

My Semi final was a tough one, lots of tactics going on between all of us. Just before the final straight I was pushed back into 6th position, I free skated the short downhill and made a move to the inside and made my way into 3rd position. The last 30 seconds were incredibly hard. I was skiing as fast as I possibly could but still was losing a couple inches every few seconds to a couple guys… I finished in a close 5th place missing the Finals by a tiny margin. My Semi was the faster of the two heats so if I had finished 4th I would have been in the Final. I ended up in 9th place overall! I still can’t believe it. I even have some money coming my way for being top 10 in a World Cup, Yeah Buddy!

Graham Longford Posted a great video of my semi on youtube. 
Here’s the link
Alex had one of the best races of his life. He was so fast in the final stretch it was unbelievable. He finished in 2nd overall! Amazing!!!
Alex rippin in for a silver medal

Alex Podium

I had 4 days off between the Drammen World Cup and the World Champs sprint in Oslo. This means that I race tomorrow. 
Wish me luck!

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