The sprint and pursuit are done and over here at the Open European Champs. Otherwise known as U26s. I can't say I've done as well as I wanted to but neither race was all that bad either. This is my first time racing in Slovakia. Until now I only had stories and rumors to based this place off of. The hotel is adequate, the food is hit or miss, and it's kind of cold outside.
I took my time in prone during the sprint. I escaped with only one miss. Standing has been my go to in confidence lately so I was convinced it was going to be a good day. Low and behold I miss my first two targets. I certainly hit my last three in a commanding fashion, but the damage was already done. I didn't feel spectacular on skis. There are some transitions on the second half of the course that I just wasn't hitting very well. At the end of the day I was 27th. I was surprised that I snagged with the 7th fastest ski time.
And then came the pursuit. My focus was resettled and I was ready for a better day. This time around I was going to be smarter with pacing tactics. Admittedly I didn't do a very good job with that one in Nove Mesto. The course profile was a little more comfortable to work with and our skis were clearly some of the best in the field. It all came down to shooting. Which was again mediocre. I took one miss in my first stage and another two in my second prone. This is not what I needed. Thankfully I kept my head on straight and didn't melt down in standing. Missing my last target in standing has been a reoccurring theme this season. This theme was present on my first standing. Conversely I proceeded to miss my first target of my second standing. I kept it together and hit the next four, but left the range with no clean stages. I wasn't showing any modesty on the two large climbs just out of the stadium. In fact, I'll go as far to say that I made some of the other athletes look like they were touring. This tactic came in handy on the last loop when I was 28th. For the first time in a long time I was not going to finish behind my bib number in a pursuit. I passed a few more people before the final stretch and held them off across the finish line. I moved up from 27th to 24th. That's not much but I did move up for a change.
I'm still stoked just to be on the circuit. That's more than I say about this time last year. Some real results would have been nice this weekend. That's why I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I still have once more chance to really light it up. I never make any promises on results, but I can confirm that I'll put up a good effort.
|I think I need a better camera. Nothing comes out the way I envision it to.