That first race of the season always takes a lot out of you. This is increased when the first starter doesn't go out until 5:30 in the evening. I'm not much for sleeping in, so I had all day to mull those 20 kilometers over. That's the other part of the stress. Tomorrow's sprint is half the distance of the individual. 20 is just the right amount of distance to really push it before you can't sustain that hard race effort. The best part of the day wasn't finishing the race. The best relief came when I left the starting gate. Just having the opportunity to finally do the things you've been thinking about all day is a good feeling.
And then there is the other half of the sport. Ski speed was decent. Maybe towards the better end rather than the slow side. I went with a pair of skis from last year. Per and I went over the course the day before and found a few corners that were worth timing better than I typically do. The coaches managed to compile a lot of video. Not just of our guys, but other countries as well. After watching myself ski I could that my arms and shoulders could use some improvement. Ski rank was 42nd. Almost within two minutes of XC world champion Lars Berger, whom I suspect is at a minor peak.
So as you can see, I successfully crammed a dirty, two cleans, decent skiing, some flaring shoulders, and a threefer all in one race! Based off of race one it's evident that the mens field isn't any less competitive than last year. It was tight! When breaking down the results I was glad I took the corners better. I've already started experimenting with warmer gloves. This weekend is on pace for the Ostersund or "Coldersund" that we all remember. It's also snowing. In retro spec I take back what I said about the snow and temperature problems in the last post.
Stay tuned! Tomorrow is another opportunity.