Scenes from Canmore WC
Canmore was just so awesome that it took me two weeks to get around to writing about it. I really enjoyed Canmore. The landscape is incredible: lots of rocky jagged peaks surrounding a valley; nice sunshine; wide trails with firm tracks and some massive hills that could really wear you out; and a cool Main Street with fun shops and cafes. Plus it is the homebase for a lot of the Canadian skiers, so it just seemed more homey. Chandra invited the APU’ers over for dinner one night and we played some really funny games of charades. And I can’t complain about another week hanging out with the US skiers and Norwegians, Swedes, Germans and others.
Maple lattes at Communitea; Fun candy pills at the candy shop
Just some old school style
Thursday was a mass start classic race, but I only got to watch and cheer. My teammates skied amazingly, with Kikkan again showing she has become a kick-ass distance skier, Sadie and Holly getting top-30 points, and Rosie just out of the World Cup points in 35th.
My race came Saturday, another skate sprint. Quite different from the sprint in Quebec. About 50m out of the start, the course pitched up for a while, had a sharp left turn over the top, a slight downhill that wasn’t really recovery, then a steep cornering pitch that was just really hard to ski well and then continued going up before reaching a slightly flat section then a ripping downhill corner and a loooong downhill in the longest finishing stretch. By the time you reach the top of the course, your legs are so blown out that it’s a chore to just keep your legs under you through the finish stretch. I didn’t ski the uphill corners well at all, so probably lost a lot of time there. I finished 64th on the day…not what I wanted, but then again, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. On the plus side, I raced on a pair of skis borrowed from the French Rossi rep, Simon, and they were wicked fast awesome skis. I really appreciate Rossi letting me use those skis, they have been great about making sure I am in a good place with my equipment. I spent the rest of the day watching the heats and again, many of my teammates represented well. Full results can be found here.
Sunday was a skiathlon, 15km for women and 30km for men. I didn’t get to race this distance race either, so I once again got my cheering on. And yes, once again, the US team crushed it. Kikkan took another top-10 in 8th, Ida had her best distance race in 14th, Holly had some bad luck in the transition area when she had to backtrack for a pole but still pulled out a good effort in 28th, Rosie again just missed the points in 38th, and Becca skied well to 53rd considering she got the go ahead to race the morning of when Liz Stephen scratched with sickness. The men also showed some awesome skiing with Noah Hoffman and Kris Freeman both duking it out for top-10.
EBJ in the classic portion of the pursuit
Awesome poster made by a local gradeschool class. Each nation’s wax trailer was decorated with them.
Just being on the World Cup scene for two weeks was an incredible learning experience. Maybe I didn’t ski as well as I wanted to or thought I could, but watching and skiing with all those athletes just instills a sort of confidence and you get a boost of motivation to work harder to be competitive at that level. Not to mention that being part of such a big US contingent and watching so many of your teammates show that the US is becoming a ski powerhouse!