Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Relay

      I made it into the relay for the Antholz WC series. I was puzzled and pretty down on myself after the sprint race. I was honestly expecting more. As always, I was at least a little excited to have another chance at redemption  There has been a relay at each of the last three race series. While the first one was a success, the second one was not so much and the third...
      The weather was a factor for the race on Sunday. Admittedly, When is it not? Well on that day it was more so. The sun was out, snow was dry, and wax selected. After zero I made, yet another, trip to the toilet. Everything was as described before I did this. At some point before I got back a blizzard had occurred. The trail changed and was no longer the perfect hard pack that I've come to expect from Antholz. Despite a smaller budget and limited resources our wax team is consistently on the ball. I'm pretty sure the sudden change worked to our advantage.
      It was an interesting relay. Eight rounds per stage wasn't enough to keep a lot of teams out of the penalty loop. Unfortunately we were one of them. Theoretically, it shouldn't matter what the race situation is. Each athlete should race there own race and do the best job they can. This was the mentality I tried to get into. It didn't matter if I was getting tagged off in second or two minutes out. Tim was able to get me a good draft for the first loop. This comes in handy even if it is only 2.5km.

       Prone was decent. There was no wind. The first three went down as intended. I missed my last two, but was able to clean with only two extra. Not bad. I snagged another decent ride on the second loop. It was Arnd Peiffer and Johannes Boe if my memory serves me right. I'm proud to say that everything was in it's right place for standing. I murdered those targets in a commanding fashion of 27 seconds with no extras at a difficult range! I wish the legs were similar on the last loop, but I'm ashamed to say I let a couple of places get by me and didn't give Leif the draft that I should have. The conditions were not easy to work and ski speed has a ways to go yet.
These people that I know...
      It was a decent race for me and a step back in the right direction. No awards ceremony for the team USA, but we've had worse days. Overall it was a good weekend for the team. Lowell had a top ten in the sprint and Tim might have set a record for spots gained in a pursuit. I'm still confused about my performance, but I have some time and a good training plan to work with before World Champs ramps up.

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