It's game on now here in Oberhof as a few hours ago marked the beginning of this year's edition of the fabled Tour de Ski.
Is it fabled? Probably not (yet) - but it added some dramatic effect to this drab post and caught your attention - you've got to admit.
How did stage #1 go down?
We awoke to cooler temperatures this morning and I was happy to see that the mercury had dipped below zero overnight - meaning the track tightened up well - a far cry from yesterday's nasty/mushy disaster making conditions hard packed with some sugary snow over the icy/hard base. The snow ended up being pretty fast because of the cooler temperatures and the corners were quite sketchy actually. Super icy and a lot of us looked pretty heaters' as we negotiated them.
The actual race went pretty well for me. I was happy to feel good warming up this morning and after yesterday's race prep workout I knew the legs were feeling decent. Still - you never know until you know, ya know?
In the race I was concentrating on skiing "big," gliding well, pushing hard into the descents and being efficient. Turns out I was too efficient for the first half of the course and gave up too much time - focusing too much on skiing smooth!?
I felt great though and I was able to push over all the climbs and attack the flats well, crossing the line in 12th place. Not the best prologue I've ever done - but definitely better than last year's start when I hobbled in for 37th. I'm left a bit disappointed with it because the body really was close to top shelf - but I'll take those positive feelings!
Alex rocked it - which was boss to see. 6th! Yeah buddy. And Babsy had a PB out there finishing 38th. Spirits are high in the CAN camp and we are all looking forward to tomorrow's pursuit/mass start/mayhem race tomorrow. With so many athletes starting so close together it will tighten up quickly. The course is 5 laps of 3km - full of corners. I expect it to be icy (although it's snowing and windy out right now) and pretty nutty out there. We'll have to keep our wits about us and stay out of trouble. Either way, should be fun times and let's be honest - classic racing is awesome!
Starting through a stiff head wind today in Stage #1. A bit too "relaxed" off the gun, but it was a decent day. PHOTO: NORDICFOCUS
Trying to stay chill as I negotiate on of the many icy corners out there on course.