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Sorry for the lack of blogs. The internet company pulled the plug (literally) on our hotel, so we have absolutely no internet anymore. The rumor is that the Kazak’s were trying to hack into the hotel’s accounts and the hotel decided not to risk it. I literally drove up the valley to find internet, so this post comes to you with much sweat toil.

Also, the Junior classic race has happened since I wrote this, but Nat is absolutely killing the reporting over here, so there should be plenty of stuff on the main Fasterskier site. I will try to post whenever I can.

 

Two days, one event down. The Juniors raced their skate sprint on Monday, and the U23s went today (Tuesday). For some reason, the US seems to usually be a stronger sprinting nation, and there were definitely American skiers who had some pretty high aspirations. In the few days leading up to the sprints, the phrases “A final”, “medal”, and even “win” were definitely thrown around, and not by any slouches. With two National Champions and many podium finishers from the sprints in Anchorage on this team, the US brought some serious sprinting heat.

Considering what could have happened had everything gone right, there was the subtle taste of disappointment in the air.

The Junior girls put two in the top 30, with Jessie qualifying in 18th and Sophie in 19th. It was tough to see Digger go down when one of the gnarly Euros basically skied over her boots, but that’s how it goes I guess. The best explanation I’ve heard suggested is that she’s from the Midwest… Neither of them were able to advance out of the quarters, and Soph ended up 24th with Jess in 26th.

The Boys couldn’t quite keep up with our gals, with only Erik Bjornsen making the rounds. There was a double disappointment here; Packman slotted in the dreaded 31st spot, three one-hundredths out, and TK, known for his lead role in the famous “Who The Heck is Tyler Kornfield” article, came down with a nearly decapitating flu the morning of the race and nearly scratched, but made it to   place. Erik tried bashing his way through the pack in his quarter, but the three 180 degree turns leading into the finish didn’t favor anyone but the front two skiers. He ended the day in  .

The U23 women rallied the 42 skier field, throwing all four into the top 20 in the qualifying round. Ida was ripping it, finishing 2nd in both of her heats, which got her into the A final. Rosie and Sadie were both 3rd in their heats, but unbelievably, neither got the Lucky Loser nod. Ida’s amazing performance to get herself 4th in the A final was definitely the highlight of the day, and it was so sweet to see her up on the flower ceremony.

The U23 men had a bittersweet day, which arguably tilted more towards the bitter side. Simi threw down like he always does and straight up won the qualifier, and by over a second!! The German anncouncer was yelling “Sigh-mon Hamahl-ton” all morning, which was sweet; it’s nice to know that the American Skate Sprint champion is the fastest at U23 Worlds too. Now if I could only close those 8 seconds that were between us, I would be fine! Pete Kling showed why he is such a skate sprint heavyweight, squeaking in with 27th place. I was 33rd, about .5 seconds out, and Patty J was somewhere around 38th. This is where the “bitter” part comes in: Simi is leading his quarter, goes into the woods, and a few seconds later, all five except him come flying out. Apparently, his basket got skied over and he pulled his grip right off his pole. “I was left shaftless!” he said, when asked to sum up the fiasco.

Kling-on skied in a pretty tight quarter, where the 3rd and 4th finishers moved on as Lucky Losers:

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The U23 mens A final blazes through the section with all the tight turns:

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It came down to a three way drag, with a Norwegian overtaking the #2 bib Swiss for the win:

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The women’s heats were also tighter than most I’ve seen:

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By far the most exciting part of the day was seeing Ida ski to a 4th place. Here, she and the eventual World Champion ski away from the field:

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Ida blazes in to 2nd place in her semifinal, getting an A final berth:

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After crossing the line, the athletes were swallowed by the media mob: Ida’s bib #4:

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One Response to “Hit from All Sides”

  1. Leslie Hajdukovich Says:

    Skiing was bee-u-ti-ful at our beloved Birch Hill today. Good temps. I just wish I had wax on my skis. LOVE the pics of the European ski scene….and the witty blog. So proud of you all! Ski hard and ski FAST, the Hajdukes P.S. Again, ski hard and fast