OBERHOF, Germany – Kris Freeman had a good day, notching the 20th-fastest standalone time of the race and moving into 30th place.
His thoughts on the race: “I wanted to move up into the points, and I got a point, so I’m pretty satisfied on the day. It’s only the second time I’ve taken points this year, so it feels good to know I can still race. I’ve come back from a lot of stuff, but still, you don’t always know it’s going to come back, so it feels good to at least be racing today.”
On the hectic conditions: “I walked in and asked [coach/wax technician] Zach [Caldwell] what the story was today, and his words were: “chaos.” I said ‘oh, great.’ But I’m used to that. So I got out, and I was 95 percent certain it was going to be hairies, and we just went to my go-to pair and kept coming back for a slightly different rough.”
On how the race unfolded, with the handicap format: “It’s like starting a mass start and you break a pole, and you’re 40 seconds down. That’s basically how I set myself up yesterday. It took me two full laps to move into the lead group, and then I just kind of dangled. I’m just not strong enough yet, but I was moving. I felt like I skied technically well. I used everything I had today, which I did not do yesterday, and it feels good.”
On his feelings about the rest of the Tour: “Right now, I feel good. I want to keep racing. I’ve had an awful lot of time to sit in my hotel room and brood. I just want to go out and race.”
Andy Newell struggled, dropping 45 places to finish 74th.
On the racing: “Tried to hang in there for a couple laps, and then, really wasn’t feeling good, and just skied it in a little bit. Yesterday, I kind of felt like I was starting to fight something, and it probably could have gone either way today. I’m a little bit congested and stuff, so I just didn’t have any energy out there.”
On Saturday’s sprint, and fighting off an illness: “Hopefully we’ll see if I can pull this off and sprint tomorrow—see how that goes. But it’s not looking good. I’m just not feeling very good. Sore throat, congested a little bit. It just started yesterday.”
Simi Hamilton held his own in his third distance race of the season, dropping three places to end up 66th.
On the racing, and the tricky conditions: “It was all right. My third lap felt terrible, but the other four laps felt pretty good. The skis were great; my kick was awesome—or, as awesome as it could be. Everyone was slipping, for sure—that big hill was definitely hard to ski five times. I’m psyched. There’s a couple of sketchy spots—I ended up going down in one corner. The tracks just kind of come into one another in one place, and just hooked my boots together and went down, so that was kind of a bummer. But it was a good effort, felt hard. I think yesterday kind of woke my body up a little bit, so it was pretty good to do that.”
Nathaniel Herz is a reporter for FasterSkier, who also covers city government for the Anchorage Daily News in Alaska. You can follow him on twitter @nat_herz.