Skate Sprint and Classic Prologue

Pate NeumannFebruary 5, 2011

Quick recap over the last two days:

Travel from Canmore to West Kelowna was good. Clear roads and an uneventful drive. Lots of snow up at Telemark Ski Club and some surprisingly fun race trails. I am a little shocked that this is the first time I have raced here. The facilities are great, and the race trails have some good variety, lots of climbing and some fun downhills. That being said, the sprint course needs to be revamped. It is quite flat, which makes it hard because there is zero rest, but it is always nice to have some hills and downhill corners to break things up a bit.

Friday was the skate sprint. In qualifying I was lacking in the speed and “pop” department. It felt technically good, but my legs were slow to get going. I got into the heats, and things started to come around in the afternoon. I did more intensity in my warm up for the heats, and was feeling pretty good. Nish, Butler and myself were all in the same quarter final heat. Nish took the lead halfway through the heat and I moved into second. Heading into the finish Nish was still up front, and myself and another skier were battling it out for the second spot. After a super tight finish, I was told the other skier got me by millimeters. I thought all was not lost, as maybe I would get a lucky loser spot. No such luck as bib 112 took it (and I was 113). So after qualifying 13, loosing the sprint finish, the missing out on the lucky loser spot I ended the day right where I started, in lucky number 13!! But that’s how it goes, if I had the little bit of extra speed in my finishing kick, I might have been able to move on. Next time.

Today was was the 3.5km classic prologue. One of my favorite events next to classic sprinting! Today actually went pretty well. The course was constantly transitioning between ups, downs and corners. There was plenty of time to gain or lose based on how smooth you could transition from one technique to the other. I started out with my usual bullet 10km pace, and tried to ski consistent and smooth through to the finish. I ended up doing just that, starting well off the pace of the leads but bringing back in some more time towards the finish. I ended the day in 8th, 27 seconds back. That’s still a HUGE time margin for 3.5km, but it felt better then last weekends classic prologue, so I think things are moving in the right direction.

Tomorrow is the pursuit start 15km skate. It is a 3x5km loop that has some decent climbing and fun downhills. While I have lost time to the leaders in the skate sprint and classic prologue, I hope to reel back in some of that time tomorrow. I will be starting somewhere between 1 and 2 minutes behind the leaders (Drew, then Stef, then Nish). I only have 15km to bring in that time, but with a fairly hilly course, it is well suited to me.

I will be sure to do a recap after tomorrows race. We head back to Canmore tomorrow night, then we are off to Ottawa on Wednesday with the full Academy team!

Now we are off to a team bowling showdown in Kelowna followed by dinner.
Chat ya later!


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