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Archive for December, 2010

Up and Down in Davos

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

It’s been a week full of the highs and the lows here in Davos!  In similar fashion to last year’s races in Davos, we raced distance on Saturday and a skate sprint Sunday.

While I had hoped and expected to put in a strong performance in Saturday’s 10km classic race, I was again disappointed with a lackluster result of 47th place.  I struggled in the snowy conditions and ended backing off in the final kilometers to reserve some energy for the sprint.

Thankfully, day two provided some redemption.  I started off the day with 8th position in qualifying.  I used fast finishes in both my quarterfinal and semi-final to advance to the final.

In the final, after sitting in fourth for most of the race, I was in position to challenge for second place on the homestretch when Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk suddenly changed her trajectory and blocked my momentum.  I ended up finishing 4th.

A few minutes later however, Kowalczyk’s move was ruled as obstruction and she was relegated to sixth, moving me into third position.  So I got to stand on the podium for the second week in a row!

The Women's Podium. Photo: Liz Stephen

I had planned to race in France this coming weekend but due to some sickness this week I have decided to stay in Davos to get healthy, enjoy Christmas, and prepare for the Tour.

I’ll be back in action on New Year’s Eve for the start of the Tour de Ski.  Until then, Merry Christmas everyone!

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Third Time’s a Charm in Düsseldorf

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

The Cliff Notes:

Despite some hurdles with travel, lost baggage and variable weather, I made it to Dusseldorf, Germany for a World Cup individual skate sprint this past Saturday.  The women raced just 900m around a tight and fast man-made loop in the heart of downtown.

In the qualifying round I focused on keeping a high tempo and secured 8th place to advance to the heats.  I then went on to lead both my quarterfinal and semi-final heats to make it to the A final.

In the final, in spite of a terrible start and coming out of the lanes in fifth, I never relented and worked my way into the top 3 off the final turn.  I had a strong finishing kick and was able to sneak into 2nd place right before the finish line for my fourth career World Cup podium!

After a short celebration, I’ve moved on to Davos, Switzerland to prepare for another skate sprint, along with a 10km classic, this weekend.

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