I just finished my first weekend of World Cup racing this season in Quebec City. After coming off the Supertour for the first couple weekends, it was quite the warm welcoming back! The City Sprinting atmosphere is pretty darn exciting... and having that atmosphere in the US made for one of of my favorite weekends of racing ever.
|A view of the course from the top of our hotel building|
|Me in third, headed over the top of one of the little hills in the course. (fasterskier photo)|
|Talking skis with one of our techs, Mikey Matteson. So fun to have him join us for the WC's!! (Flyingpoint photo)|
With all the athletes staying in one hotel, right across from the venue, things were exciting from the start. It was nice to see many of my friends that I hadn't seen since last season, and more exciting, they were in North America! Many of these skiers had never even been to North America, so I was loving watching their reaction. To be honest though, Quebec City is much different than anywhere I have been. We were racing right in front of the Parliament Building, so every day we would walk around the old city and explore the area.
|The race literally started in the gate into the old city- This is me at the start of the quarterfinals. (Eric Packer photo)|
I came away from the weekend very pleased with the racing. Friday was a team sprint, so I teamed up with one of my best friends on the circuit and my long time competitor, Sophie Caldwell. Sophie and I have been racing each other since we were 14 years old, and all along people can't keep our names straight. I always get called Sophie and she always gets called Sadie. So the skiing world has simply referred to us as SODIE for the past couple of years when we are together. When I heard I would be sprinting with Sophie, I was stoked for our SODIE debut. We raced very well in the Semi-finals- sat in the pack with six other teams (3 of them US teams) for the entire race, but unfortunately I got tied up with one of my other teammates in the exchange zone, causing me to fall to the ground, and loose a fair amount of time. With it being the last exchange, we didn't have enough time to try to catch up unfortunately, so we just missed advancing. I was super pleased though, and really impressed with Sophie's first World Cup race. The day went on to becoming history though as my other teammates, Kikkan and Jessie went on to win the first ever team gold medal.
|Trying to find the best path in a large group of people. (Fasterskier photo)|
|Lots of spectators and lots of tight skiing. This is me in the back following some Norwegians and Sophie. (Fasterskier photo)|
Day two was the individual sprint around the same course. After practicing it three times in the race the day before, I was excited for the individual race. I ended up finishing 15th, my best result ever. The heats didn't go as well as planned, but I was still very excited with the day. The course was really tight, with little room to pass- so I got good practice following the girls trying to squeeze my way in every chance. Unfortunately I got a little tangled in the final straight away and finished sixth in my heat.
|Racing for the finish line. As you can see, everyone fighting for the same spot. (fasterskier photo)|
|Just off the line- Norway vs. USA. I am number 15. (fasterskier photo) |
|Look at all those awesome fans in the background!! Thanks everyone. (Flyingpoint photo)|
The one thing that really stood out this past weekend was the incredible atmosphere. There were so many US fans, and so many US flags flying. As I raced around the course all I could hear was screaming and my name. In every city sprint I have ever done, there are always tons of fans- but never once have I gotten to hear my name screaming across the course. Thanks to all the college teams and fans from the east coast that came up. You guys really made it one of the best racers I have ever been part of.
|Even with all the chaos surrounding you... with five minutes to go, you have to relax your mind and find your confidence. (flyingpoint photo)|
I was also having a really fun time watching the enthusiasm on all the faces of my teammates that had their first World Cup races this weekend. I am just so excited for them all. A city sprint is pretty much the most motivating way to start a season. It really makes you hungry for more. Here is a quote that one of my teammates, Lauren Fritz had on her facebook that really made me smile:
"In high school my coach told me "If you want to race with the big dogs, you can't train with the puppies."
Today I trained on the World Cup sprint course surrounded by the world's best Nordic skiers.
Wicked fun course in the city, can't wait to put on a bib Saturday."
I just now arrived in Canmore, Alberta- where I will be racing thursday, saturday, and sunday for another World Cup weekend. I can't wait because my parents are finally going to watch their first world cup, which will be so exciting for them.
|The APU Team the night before many of their first races... plus Michael Henrich who joined us for massage this week. |
More news to come soon!
A great video from the team sprint day when the girls made some history.