MADISON, Wis. — As Dmitriy Ozerskiy patiently awaited his turn to take a look at the result board, his Russian teammate, Maxim Fadeev, approached him.
Fadeev had just heard the news that Ozerskiy won the SuperTour freestyle sprint qualifier, 0.06 seconds ahead of Jari Joutsen of Finland. Fadeev was the third fastest around the 1 k loop, 34 seconds behind Ozerskiy’s winning time of 1:45.89.
“Really?” Ozerskiy said as he walked away from the board on the sidewalk in downtown Madison.
He didn’t speak much English and did not hear the results announced a few minutes earlier.
“Unbelievable,” Fadeev said.
“We skied perfect and that is why we took a good place in the qualification,” Fadeev said. “Yesterday, we skied bad. We chose not the correct skis; we choose a classic ski and other sportsmen choose skate ski.”
Ozerskiy did not make Saturday’s heats and Fadeev was eliminated in the quarterfinals. On Sunday morning, they were among the first athletes warming up on the course.
“We discuss strategy, we tested the skis a lot and we choose the right ski and wax,” Fadeev said. “We did the right warm up. We have a long time for a warm up and that’s good for our results.”
Joutsen, who won Saturday’s classic sprint, said he would be switching his skis to adapt to the softening conditions on the 30-plus degree morning. Heats would start after noon.
“The course was perfect even better than yesterday,” he said. “Very fast snow.”
Despite sleeping 10 hours Saturday night, Joutsen said he felt a bit lethargic Sunday morning.
“I felt that I was slow in the morning in the start, but I did OK,” he said.
Among some of the race favorites that did not qualify in the top 16 were Sam Naney (Methow) in 17th, Lars Amund Toftegaard (NOR) in 18th, and Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess (Bend) in 19th.
Alex Kochon (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the former managing editor at FasterSkier. She spent seven years with FS from 2011-2018, and has been writing, editing, and skiing ever since. She's making a cameo in 2020.