I don’t have much time at the moment, but here’s an overview of my day.
Warming up, I was feeling possibly the best that I have in quite some time. This time of year is weird, because you end up racing a lot and not doing much training volume. A lot of times this ends up making me feel pretty weak and flat, but not today. I could tell that I was going to have an opportunity to throw down a really good race, which would be nice as this was my World Cup debut.
I was remarkably calm and relaxed, considering I was jumping around the holding pen next to some of the fastest men on the planet. I knew that I could go out there and show that I could compete with a lot of them.
And that’s just what I did. I felt smooth and snappy up the first two major climbs, which were really nice striding pitches. Steep, but just glide-able. As I climbed the third and gnarliest hill, I started to feel some pretty intense pain, but was able to open it back up and get moving over the flat section on top. One massive skate push out of the track and into a tuck, and into craziest corner of the course.
And that’s when disaster struck. When skiing the course during warm up, there had been a large section of ice forming on the inside of the turn as the corduroy was pushed to the outside. I had made mental note, and went into the turn pretty wide, deciding that taking the longer route was better than crashing. I guess I didn’t go wide enough. The glacier had now been extended way out into the track, and I just lost both edges and washed out.
As I was going down, I was thinking “wow, I absolutely cannot believe this is happening. I haven’t crashed once all year, and here I am, crashing in my first World Cup race.”
Needless to say, I lost way too much time to have any hope of a respectable finish. I will spare you the emotional aftermath, but I was so bummed. Why now?
The only sliver of light in the situation was that I was skiing well before the crash. Based on how the guy right ahead of me finished, and that I was about 10 feet behind him right as I crashed, and that he started 15 seconds ahead of me, I was skiing between 40th and 50th place. This would have had me just behind the middle of the Americans.
I would have been extremely happy with this result, had that been what actually happened. But as it was, I ended up Dead Last, as someone who crashes in World Cup qualifiers should. So, not a disappointing day, because I was skiing well, but rather a crushing one, because I didn’t get to show it.