This last weekend We left Davos (SUI) for a few days racing in Seefeld (AUT). A skate sprint, 10km classic and a 10km skate. I opted just to race the sprint and 10km classic with the intention of being fresher for the World Cup this coming weekend. Both races were solid for me although I was hoping for a little more in the Sprint. I wasn’t fresh and ended up 10secs back over the long 4min course. Our focus is now on this weekend being one of Australia’s Olympic Benchmark events. Time to be going fast!
The first month has gone pretty quickly and as always plenty of training, feasting and faffing has been done! I arrived on the 18th of October to Falun, Sweden. Cal and I were staying with Maria Grafnings who came out to Aus last year and we had arranged to train with the Uni ski team here in Falun. Training in Falun was awesome, the weather was great and the lads in Falun were good to work in with. They were a fair step above us but that was good to work us hard a bit!
After a few solid weeks or training in Falun we headed north and further into the cold and darkness for some races in Bruksvallarna. There was minimal snow to begin with and unfortunately after some rain we were reduced to just the 5km race loop on man made snow. The Races went pretty darn well, probably some of my better results to date so this has put me in good spirits for the upcoming season!
We are now in Davos with Finn and back to the standard training operation. We have a week and a half before heading off to Seefeld for an Austrian Cup and then back here for our first World Cup of the season, get keen!!
This season is going to be the biggest season yet! It’s an Olympic year and naturally enough my main goal is to Qualify for and race fast at Sochi 2014 but there is a lot more on the calender to get me excited including, World Uni Games, U/23 World Champs, Olympic selection races, The 2013/14 World Cup Circuit and Red Bull NordiX!
Check it out…
- Hopefully leave Aus on the 15th October, flying into Sweden
- 4 weeks training in Sweden
- 22-24th of Nov,Race Swedish Cup, Bruksvallarna
- Fly to Switzerland, 2 weeks Training
- 14-15th Dec, Olympic selection World Cup, Davos
- 16-21st Dec, World University Games, Val de Fiemme, Italy
- Xmas with AUS ski-X team at AIS European training centre, Italy
- Back to Davos, 2 weeks training
- 11-12th Jan, Nova Mesto World Cup, Czech Republic
- 18-19th Jan, Szklarska Poreba World Cup, Poland
- 1 Week Training camp, Pre Olympic Team, Venue TBA
- 28-29th Jan, U/23 World Champs, Val di Fiemme, Italy
- 1-2nd Feb, Pre Olympic World Cup, Dobbiaco, Italy
- 4th Feb, Hopefully selected for Sochi 2014 (Fly to Sochi)
- 7th-23rd Feb, Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics (hopefully selected)
- 24th Feb, Fly to Scandinavia (My Birthday, Yewww!!)
- 1-2nd Mar, Lahti World Cup, Finland
- 5th Mar, Drammen World Cup, Norway
- 8th Mar, Oslo World Cup, Norway
- 18th (ish) Mar, Red Bull NordiX, Stockholm, Sweden
- 20-23rd Mar, Swedish Nationals, Hudiksvall, Sweden
- 24th Mar, Find a luscious beach somewhere for a couple of weeks, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Bali, Thailand, Hawaii etc Somewhere good, I’ll need a tan!
- After a few weeks Faffing then maybe I’ll come home…
As you can see its a solid season of racing and I’m stoked to have so much to look forward to! Training has been going well since the end of the Aus ski season. We had a hard weeks training camp at Falls last week and now off to the AIS in Canberra for some testing then its down to the last few weeks of training, preparation and getting my life sorted before I fly out!
Yeah… So it’s been a while since my last post, and a fair bit has happened since. This season I was living, working and training out of Howmans Gap. This was a pretty good set up for me as The Boss was good enough to roster me onto shifts where I could train around, the only problem with this operation was that is was such a bad ski season! Even mid season we were coming off the hill to roller ski in the rain, it sucked! Although I didn’t have a whole lot of goals for this season, most of my goals are based around this upcoming European season, there were a few good things that came out of this season. I managed to win my first Australian Championship in the skate sprint at Falls Creek, I continued to lower my FIS point average and somehow I pulled off a good race on Hoppet weekend which is a rarity for me! Here’s a few snaps to give you a bit of an insight to the season…
Back to training and trying to get as many rays as we can before heading back into another long winter!
Well I’ve been a bit slack with the old Blog updates lately despite a fair bit going on…
U/23 World Champs were the first major event. The races there in Liberec were ok although nothing super special in terms of results. The classic sprint was a little disappointing as I was a bit further back than I would have liked but the 15km skate, I was happy with. I managed to work fairly hard throughout the whole race, splitting fairly close to Alex for most it. I then had to fly to Russia and missed the Skiathlon which I wasn’t too worried about as 30kms doesn’t really suit me…
The Sochi World Cup races in Russia were the first of the AUS teams Olympic selection races so naturally enough this was pretty important and the levels of nerves were pretty high!
My preparation wasn’t really helped by a bought of food poisoning four days out either but that passed reasonably quickly. Going into the sprint on the Friday I wasn’t feeling good after the food poisoning but with a bit more rest I must have come goodish… The course was the toughest sprint course I have ever raced on so pacing it was so important! I thought I had gone out a little on the easy side but at the top of the first hill was shown it wasn’t the case and by the end of the 1.8km course was fully spent! I ended up 63rd out of 84 and in the top 75% of the field. I was stoked with this result and it should help considerably towards Olympic qualification which is sweet too!
The next day was a rest day where Cal smashed out a good race in the 30km pursuit then the following day it was Vandy and I up again for the team sprint. I would have to say this was probably the toughest race I’ve ever done! The pace was on right from the start and the tough track along with minimal kick didn’t make it any easier. I was really just in the hurt box right from the start and I think Vandy was in a similar situation. We ended up 31st just ahead of the Chinese team.
We then flew into Switzerland and onto Davos. Yesterday we raced in a Swiss cup race (15km skate), conditions were slow and racing was tough. I was fatigued from some hard training leading in but managed to hold together an ok race but still finished in the lower half of the field.
Next weekend is the World Cup here in Davos which is a classic sprint and a 15km Skate. These races are then followed up quickly three days later by the first race of the Val de Fiemme World Champs in Italy. Hopefully I hit some sweet form and race super fast there…
Since the Canmore World Cup there has been a fair few going’s on taking place. I stayed on in Canmore for another 10 or so days training over the Xmas period which was extremely uneventful but good to have some time to do a few well needed loads of washing!
Flying into Europe I met up with Georgia and Vandy with high spirits although our high spirits soon turned into a little bit of a depression session as we found there was no snow pretty much anywhere in Europe and it then continued to be overcast and raining for the next two weeks straight.
To stop ourselves going insane Georgia and I found ourselves doing quite a bit of OP-Shopping, finding ourselves ferreting around in some rundown Czech bunkers trying to find some luscious get ups, sometimes unsuccessful…
The ol’ polly pipe Didgeridoo often came on some long draining car trips so I could fill everyone’s air space with some lovely music and blissful notes!
Also one day I thought it would be a great idea to try and follow Tutty and Munty and an epic 40+km ski from Oberveisenthal to Klingenthal with no map and no real idea of where I was going. Somehow I didn’t see this as a problem at the time but after a while it soon became apparent that I was well and truly lost! After about 3 and a half hours of skiing aimlessly through the complex train system within Czech I put together a number of hitch hikes to get myself the remaining 50ish km’s back to the accommodation. Figure that.
After a week or so we had a set of OPA continental cup races where I managed to ski quite poorly the majority of the time, which was not ideal. In the classic sprint I didn’t ski super well and somehow managed to cross my skis up like a standard punter, hitting the deck hard for the second race in a row and as you can imagine my race wasn’t the greatest there.. The next day, the 20km skiathlon, was a pretty uneventful race. Was just one of those days where I skied quite poorly for no real reason despite giving it everything. Was a pretty tough day with torrential rain but all in all I should have skied a lot faster but anyway… The next day was the best day for me and after feeling rubbish from the 20km the day before I found a bit of something in the tank and was able to pull out a fairly solid result going under 120 distance points.
We then arrived in Liberec a few days out from the World Cup to a pretty grip scene. A strip of snow 800m long snaking its way through a paddock of mud and grass was set to be the race course. Luckily there was a little snow the next day to freshen things up a bit.
The classic sprint for me was fairly good. The course was long and tough and although it wasn’t a blinder of a race I was quite happy with the way I skied and the end result. My grip was good and skis were fast so I couldn’t have asked for much more.
The team sprint (skate), which is probably my favourite event, also went well. I skied the first leg then tagged to Vandy. We were in contact with the bunch for 3 or 4 of the 6 legs but gradually dropped off the pace as the race went on. There were some massive crashes in my second leg which I was lucky to avoid. We also managed to come in ahead of a few teams which were ranked substantially higher than we were so that was a plus.
Now PK, Finn and I have stayed on in Liberec and are currently doing our final few preps for the upcoming U/23 World Champs. Currently I’m looking at doing the classic sprint and the 15km skate but will most likely miss the 30km skiathlon in order to be fresh heading into Russia and the first of the Olympic selection races.
In the meantime PK and I have been making the most of the free Theme park and Water park action in the underground section of our hotel. Ohh Yeah!!
So the Canmore World Cup didn’t quite go to plan quite like I had hoped….
I was feeling good coming into this race having adjusted more to the altitude and the course from when I had raced here two weeks prior. On the day I was feeling pretty fresh and ready to go as well. Come the time trial, everything was going well for a while, I felt I was skiing solidly up the major climbs to the top of the course but when it came to coming back down, this was where I cooked up some fail.
The course is pretty much all up and then all back down. So coming off the flat at the top of the course and into the fast downhill I was putting in my last couple of big single time pushes before I was about to get into but because I struggle with the basics sometimes I managed to bring my pole smack down into my ski! This sent me spinning around and diving my but into the snow. I came to a complete stop and struggled to regain speed over the rest of the downhill and into the finish straight. Pretty devastating…
After the adrenaline wore off I soon came to the realization of how hard the snow was as I could barely sit down for the next couple of days, ouch :/
Although the rest of the team has gone now, I am still in Canmore for another week of training with all my mates (no one) and fly out to Europe on boxing day to meet up with Georgia and Vandy and soon after the Junior team.
Also a big shout out to PK for making his World Cup debut! Cal for his best ever World Cup result! And Esbott for a Mad 46th!
Thanks to Finn, August, Matt and the Canadian wax techs for support and making the past 3 weeks a success!