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Home from Norway

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

After kind of a disappointing day in Drammen I made it back Vermont yesterday. The Sprint at Drammen started out pretty well. They did a great job lying down the course this year and with temps slightly lower than normal the track was a little bit firmer than in previous years. The snow was fast making it a difficult call to stride or double pole for the qualification but I chose double pole. I wasn’t sure if it was the right call when I was lining up to at the start wand since the majority of the guys around me had classic gear on but turned out ok. I ended up with the 9th fasted time and was really fired up to head into the heats.

Drammen is for sure one of the coolest races in the world. The crowd is unbelievable and the scene there is just intense.

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Lahti Podium!

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

Yesterday’s skate sprint in Lahti was the coolest races of the season so far for me. I’ve always like Lahti… it’s not a huge town but I have to say the Finns now whats up. Lahti is one of the only places in the world that you can walk down the sidewalk at 11 a.m. on a weekday and see a guy zig zaging down the street with a bottle in his hand. These Finns know how to throw down. Yesterday when I was walking home I saw one person throw up and another peeing on a building all in the same block. It was rad. But most of all Finns get fired up for Nordic sports. In Lahti ski jumping and xc skiing are huge. This weekend marked like the 83rd Lahti ski games so the greats of our sport have been battling it out in the big cement Lahti stadium for quite a long time.

when I started warming up for Saturday’s sprint I knew it was going to be a good day. The past few weeks have been a grind out here on the world cup. Things just hadn’t been going my way the past few sprints… culminating with last weekends frustrating fall in the qualifier. After each disappointing result I was left wondering what had happened and what had gone wrong. Since the Canadian word cups I’ve felt like my fitness and speed had been improving each week but for one reason or another I continued to slid down the results page. This can be a tough thing for an athlete.

So going into Saturday I knew I had something to prove to myself and that I needed to go all out. At 1.4k Lahti is one of the longest sprints we do all year and even though there are two good uphills on the course there’s still a lot of V2. It’s a fun course… with a steep little bridge to cross over and some sharp corners. Being able to change speeds really quickly was an important tactic during the heats. In my first quaterfinal heat I took advantage of the last steep uphill corner with a little bit of a stop and go. I saw it work out well for Kikkan in her heat to I though I’d give it a shot too. In the final there was a lot of contact. A lot of skis and shoulders being thrown around. I tried to make a little bit of a sneaky pass on Lind early on after the first up hill and he gave me a full on stare down and pole whack. It’s pretty funny to watch on the video. We’re good friends so there were no hard feelings after the race.. we had a good laugh about it.

It was amazing to see the Kikkan and the Canadians do so well yesterday too. Thats huge for Chandra to get her second win of the season. 4 North Americans in the final…. we should do this more often! Sorry I wasn’t able to get any pics.  We’re flying out tomorrow for Oslo so check back to see how things are going in Drammen. It’s usually one of the gnarliest sprints of the year.

Stockholm Sprint

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

I don’t have a whole lot to add about today’s sprint. It was gray out and the snow was dirty but there were tons of spectators and it was as great day for a sprint. I went down on some ice on the first corner and missed qualification. I guess it’s bound to happen to a sprinter at least once in their career… so I guess I’m glad I fell here and not at world champs or something.  The course was pretty flat but everyone was still going with klister because of the uphill finish. It wasn’t a great day for the US Ski Team but our confidence is still high going into Lahti for the weekend. We’re fired up and hungry and want it more than ever. Saturday’s sprint in freestyle and it should be a good day for us.

here are a few pictures from the day.

stockholm.jpg

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World Cup Update

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

The racing is done with in Falun Sweden and even though there wasn’t a sprint here this weekend it was a lot of fun. We’ve had warm sunny skiing conditions basically all weekend and with an exception of a few places on the course the tracks stayed firm.
Falun is notorious for close finishes during the 30k. The stadium is huge and there’s a really long gradual downhill leading into it so it always seams like there’s a huge pack of dudes hammering to the line at once. Saturday’s duathlon was a close one as always but the pack was broken up a little bit by Anders Soedergren’s big move up the massive hill with 1.5 k to go.

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tech. Relay VIDEO

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

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Kickin it in the E-block

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

The past few days in Otepaa have been better than I expected. There’s not much snow here… in fact anything other than the race trails just has a dusting of wet snow from the other day. But the skiing is still perfect with some firm klister skiing and fast skating. We’ve moved out of the bunker and into a smaller but newer hotel across the street from the stadium. Yesterday was an interval training day so the coaches had us run a mock sprint relay against each other. Cook, Torin, and I started by racing the first round of 3 laps using double pole only. We weren’t prepared to d-pole in Canmore and we definitely don’t want that happening again. After the first round we had 20 minutes to get ready for another 3 laps striding. It was a really hard work out and it was good practice for the races to be rubbing shoulders with the other guys. Today we had the afternoon off from training to Cook, Andy (our PT) and I went into Tartu for the after noon.newellincar.jpg

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