So, just a few quick notes from Rossland.
Some fun ski testing and intervals
Yesterday was the first stage of the NorAm mini-tour they are running here. I have never actually done a mini-tour before, so I was pretty excited. The first stage was a skate sprint, and we all knew that it would be super fast, with some of the Canadian World Cup men coming back to fight over a spot at World Champs. It was nice and short, and after a decent qualifier, I had some good heats. The quarterfinals are always the most nerve-wracking, because you can either guarantee yourself a top-12 finish, or potentially get thrown all the way back to 30th. So I was super relieved to come from behind, passing 3 people in the final 100 meters, to nab second and move on. From there, I just rode the adrenaline, and ended up 10th overall, 4th American. I would say that those were the fastest, deepest heats I have ever skied in, so I was stoked to end up there.
It was so sick to see Sadie with a huge win. She was just dominating all day, and took it all the way to the A final. Also, Holly and Perrianne Jones actually tied down to the pixel, which is pretty insane.
With a berth to World Championships on the line to the winner, the stakes were high. I can confidently say that I have never, ever seen people digging so deep before. Drew and Stefan came absolutely raging into the final stretch, and I thought they were both going to crash just from going so hard.
Sadie, Katie, and Taz join in the frenzy, dominating the heats all the way through
Mark, myself, Brent; running down the Canucks
Me in my semifinal, heading up the 1 minute long hill
Girls podium; with Sadie on top and Holly and Perrianne sharing the 2nd step
Pete and Bart, contemplating decisions, decisions
Today was a 5/10k interval skate race. The course was really fast, and all the climbs short. It was, for all practical purposes, a 10k sprint. Holly and Lars continued their unbelievable streaks, each coming out on top. I think Lars was like 21:50, for 10 kilometers!
For me, it was going pretty well until I pulled a totally idiotic move; going into the finish chute when I still had a lap to go. Of course, I had to ski all the way back and around, losing major time. For about 2 minutes, I couldn’t believe it, but then I tried to get my head back into the race. I had lost tons of time, but I just decided to see where I could finish with an extra minute tacked on.
Tomorrow is a 10/15k pursuit-start classic race, which is going to be insane. There are like 100 guys starting within 2 minutes. I’m super pumped. Should be a good day for the AK crew.
Lars laying it out there today, on the way to the big W
Ladies from today, after Holly again flexed her distance muscles
Lars on top, after one of the fastest 10k's imaginable
Most of these photos were taken by Rob Whitney