Thursday, 21 February 2013

World Champ Recap

Day two started with 30cm of blower snow that fell overnight before the sprint race. This was the first sprint race I had ever entered and my first international race, so it was a full on experience to start my first World Championships. A sprint race is basically a three minute variation of an individual race. It combines all the technical aspects of the individual race with explosive power of a sprint. Everyone raced a qualifying lap, and the top 30 competitors advanced to head-to-head heats to determine the ultimate winner.

Mel in the sprint race.
The course was laid out with a short lower angle skin transitioning to a steep switchbacking section. This was followed by a boot pack transition (skis off of the feet and on to your pack) and a boot pack. After that, we put out skis back on our feet for a short skin to top, where we transitioned and began to ski down. After a quick ski down through the gates and a short skating section, we arrived at the finish line. All of this is finished in around three minutes, so even a small mix up can end the race for a competitor. Only the top 30 continued on to the heats and I was 11sec off of this.

Andrew near the top of the sprint course.

The day after the sprint race was a day off followed by the individual race the next day. The individual race was a blast with 1700m of elevation gain and loss in about 1 hour and 45 minutes (for me). The course was in a beautiful position, we we had bluebird skies and powder turns. I did not seem to be feeling in top form, but I pushed hard and was happy with my performance in the end.

The following day was the vertical race with 610 vertical metres of pain, which I covered in 30:51. The final day was the team relay. This was like doing two sprints back to back as the course was on the long side. Our team finished 9th, which we were very happy with.

Team Canada 2013

Mens Relay team.

World Championships was a great learning experience and I am very thankful to have had the opportunity   to take part. It was really good to finally race in Europe and see what is possible on skis. I have taken lots away from this trip and am now going to work towards applying it to my racing in North America and at Worlds in 2015. :)

Thanks for cheering!

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