This season is halfway through, and I’m on the way to Falun, Sweden, with the Canadian team for this weekend’s World Cup. We just wrapped up a block of training in Seefeld, Austria.
I left Canada at the end of December, and it’s been over a month on the road so far. After Christmas, I flew to Norway for a week of training and a Scandanavian Cup sprint. Skiing, exploring new places, and spending New Year’s in Sjusjøen was the perfect way to get over jet lag and relax before the World Cup racing started!
The first World Cup weekend was in Dresden, Germany. The Dresden World Cup is a city sprint – the race track is down by the river, with a beautiful backdrop of the city behind us. Some of the para nordic races were at the same time, which was really fun because we got to see the Canadian para team there.
The first race was a skate sprint. The track was icy and fast, which made for really exciting racing. I finished 37th, which was below what I’m aiming for this year, but it was motivating to see good improvements from last season and to be feeling strong racing.
The second race was a team sprint, which I got to do with my RMR teammate Katie Weaver. The format was different than usual – each skier did 6 laps of a 650m course, so it felt a bit like doing 90s on/off sprint intervals. The race was chaotic but exciting because the pack stayed close together for most of the race. We were disappointed to not get any Canadian teams into the final, but it was a good chance to get comfortable sprinting head-to-head in a World Cup field.
After Dresden, we went to Pragelato, Italy for a short training block and a weekend of OPA racing. We were treated to sunshine and great ski conditions, which made it easy to train hard and have fun.
Training in Pragelato was special because that’s where the ski races were during the 2006 Torino Olympics. Watching Canadian women Sara Renner, Beckie Scott, and Chandra Crawford medal at those Olympics when I was 10 was a big part of why I wanted to become a skier. Skiing on the same race trails brought back good memories and definitely added extra motivation.
The second World Cup weekend was in Oberstdorf, Germany. I raced the classic sprint and finished close to the heats again, but not fast enough – 35th. It was a hard course, with three climbs and working corner sections. I was happy to have executed my race plan well, but missing out on the heats again was frustrating. A good confidence and motivation booster for Falun.
After Oberstdorf, we spent a week in Seefeld, Austria, soaking up the sun and putting in hard training. Today we’re travelling to Falun, Sweden, for the last weekend of this tour. There’s a classic sprint on Saturday, and a skate distance on Sunday. One more chance to chase after my goals before heading back to Canada!