So I haven’t written much lately. I have been crazy busy with tests, comments, and grades, as we just finished our third quarter.
But it is always nice to brag about going fast, so I will do that. I successfully defended by title at Ski to the Clouds. Last year was an easy victory; I skied away from the field as soon as the climb started and had zero challenges. Today was different.
It didn’t start well. I am teetering on the edge of getting sick due to lack of sleep, and I spent several hours of yesterday in the ER with my daughter – who is fine now, even if her parents are still quite on edge. Then my parents lost power, so my father, who rode with me to the race, was 25 minutes late.
Still, we got to the venue in plenty of time, and I felt good about my skis and wax. (BD8, FC10, big rills). The cannon went off, and I got out in fourth place.
For four kilometers, nothing really happened. Somebody I don’t know and who was never a factor led this twisty turny, gently rolling section. The the climb started. I was worried about Duncan Douglas, but it was Jesse Downs (I only figured this out later, I hadn’t noticed him on the start list) who attacked the hill. I took a pull after he did, and then Duncan caught us and attacked. He had us both worried for a while, then he pulled over and I threw in a surge. When I glanced back, Duncan was broken. I spent a lot of time worrying about him catching back up, but he never did.
So it was Jesse and I for a long time. He led more than I did, and even opened up a few seconds of a gap on me for a while. But I knew that if I opened a gap like that I would give it 100% to try to demoralize the guy behind me, so that fact that he couldn’t add to his lead made me confident.
About a kilometer from the finish the snow went from slush, which I am horrible at skiing through, to fast, icy corduroy. I was feeling good, and took more pulls (though Jesse still did more work).
Then we came around a turn and saw people. Having done the race before, I knew this meant the finish was at hand. I threw in a solid sprint, moved to the inside to get the better line while leaving space in principle for Jesse to pass, and hoped I could hold me. The picture shows a two or three second victory, but the results say one second and I am not going to argue. It wasn’t the prettiest way to win, but you don’t get points for pretty.