The least we can say is that it’s been a rather emotional last couple of days here in Italy. Yesterday was the vertical race, which was pretty short. The course started fairly flat, with some steep kicks and a short steep bootpack then back to ascending on skis for a total of 540m of vertical gain. For a similar event, we were estimating the times to be more or less 30 minutes. Unfortunately we got misinformed on the start time for men and women. So I was hanging out, relaxing an getting ready to warm up for a 11:30am race start when I got told that we were actually starting at 11:00am…. It was then 10:35. It was also bad for all the men racing at the event since they all warmed up too early. I had just about 15 minutes to warm up the muscle and deal with the mental frustrations and there I was at the start line trying to get ready… not a good was to start a race I sure tell you! I guess I learnt that you can control some parts of the racing scene butthere are still parts you can’t control… and those are exterior factors.
I had a good start being with the lead for a little while and pushing hard but as expected, I started to fall apart a bit.
Our Canadians altogether still did an amazing job. Congrats to Reiner Thoni for his 34th place and Andrew McNab for his 41st place. Also congrats to Stano for his 53rd place and Steve for his 61st place. I still came in 15th place as Julie finished in 23rd. Great work Canadians. Even if a bit disappointed and upset about the early event, I calmed myself down and got some great rest.
Picture by Alex Wigley
Today was a new day and was time to race in a new race in the ski mountaineering list of event. The sprint is a “ give it all type of race”. The course start in a flatter section, then gets steeper, move you onto technical switch backs then you have to transition to a short bootpack. Put your skis back on for more skinning, then transition to ski down GS style then finish with a skating part. Then whole thing covers 100m of vertical gain and takes between 3-5 minutes. No need to say that this is really exciting t watch and event more to race. We started off with the qualifiers where each racers goes every 30 seconds. On the ladies side, the 12 first moved on to semi finals and on the gent side, 30 moved on to quarter. Then from there the heat of 6 racers start. This is where it becomes interesting!
Congrats to Andrew McNab for almost making the quarter finals and to Luke Nelson from the States. Congrats also to Reiner, James and Alex for a solid race. You guys looked strong out there. Congrats also to Julie for a great effort. This race is highly technical as you can imagine and there is no room for mistakes. As for myself, I moved on from the qualifier in 12th place. Then I finished 3rd in the semi final heat. I then ended up in final with a really strong line up of really experienced racers…the world champs. The pressure was on and I was a bit nervous. I had a good start and was 2nd after the first part of the course but then I started to slide a bit in the switchbacks and lost some time there. I managed to finish 6th today which I am pretty happy about. Experience will help!Now is time to recover for the next and really important event: The individual Race tomorrow!