Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Finland and tour de barents

I have delayed writing this blog so as to calm my self down and not write anything too aggressive over the top towards what happened in the last week.

The Finland easter races
Biggest waste of time ever. I skied like i was a newborn baby and hadn't yet learned how to walk. The first classic race we got the wax wrong but i persevered to finnish the race appallingly far down the field. The 2nd classic race i chose the wrong skis so quit the race. The 1st skate race was awful, our skis were good but i was bad. I got absolutely trounced by people i shouldn't have and was miles of the pace in the juniors. The 4th and final race was my best race but still it was bad really bad. This time i held iivo niskanen off for 1 minute so i was within 1 min of the junior winner but still i was way too far down the field.

The Tour De Barents
Stage one was amazing, best race of the season. Having raced 4 days and traveled 800km to get to Vadso in Norway i was sceptical that i would even be able to ski remotely fast. I skied the 1st lap controlled but still managed to catch Daniel Stock for 30 seconds. On the 2nd lap i though i was well down on 1st place as Finn Hagen Krogh seemed to be catching me for 30 seconds and in the open and looping coarse i could see him gaining. Suddenly after an out and back section there was nobody behind me. i realised i was miles in front so gave it bore to the finnish to win by 18 seconds, and 10th in the senior mens. I would have been a lot closer to the senior win but Sami Jauhjarve won by over a minute.
Stage two was awful. I lost a minute on Finn hagen Krogh and Daniel Stock in 15km skate on a very very easy coarse.
Stage 3, the classic sprint. I won the prologue by 0.8 seconds from Finn Krogh and 9 seconds from Daniel Stock. I cruised through the semi finals and the had a hard run in the final. Finn and me broke away from the rest of the group early on, i tried to brake on the climb but Finn kept pace with me a took the lead down into the stadium. Finn messed up the last turn into the finish, somehow it worked in his favour. He ended up a lane outside the racing line and i ended up along side him. I am not strong in double pole! so i knew i could only last 50m or so to try and break him right at the very end but i had ended up going head to head with him at 150m! way too soon. i kept up for 50m then got dropped and settled for 2nd place.
Stage 4, the hill climb. 2nd worst race of the season. finished 3rd and 3rd overall... no more needs to be said.

some funny quotes for the TDB
"so posy, you are Andrew Musgraves sister?" "yes" "your brother beat finn the other weel"
"oh yes i heard my brother had a good race with you finn?"
Muzzy beat finn in the norwegian champs 10km freestyle, He had to settle for second and was not very happy about it.

When we are talking about our climbing abilities for the final hill climb
Posy to finn
"i heard from my brother you're not very good at climbing?"

Daniel Stock and Finn turned up late for dinner one night
Daniel, "sorry we are late, we were playing clothes poker. I won, I was first naked."

Norwegian on the bus
"the bus driver doesnt speak any english" "can you drive us to the cabin?" "PLEEEEEEAAAAASSSSSEEEEEE" "looks like we have to walk"

I must mention the Tour De Barents organisation and how awful it was. Vadso was well organised (its in Norway so no surprise there). In inari there where no busses to the track from the hotels, it was ok as it was only 500m so it was manageable. but annoying.
In Roveniemi it was a disaster. There was no bus to the team captains meeting!!!!!!! from our hotel to the posh hotel where all the stars had been put up. so we walked got last and just turned up in time. The Norwegian juniors staying at our hotel in their rage about this the contacted someone at home in norway to get busses organised to team captains meetings.
On the first race day i went out and waited in the rain from my bus at 9.30. it never came. seems they just forgot our hotel of the route. i got a lift with a wax guy in his camper van at 10.15, i turned up for ski testing 45 min late thanks to the organisers. No hotel to airport transfers where done so we had to get an expensive taxi.
Dont get me wrong i dont mind staying in a different hotel to all the big names and one that isnt as posh, but they should at least provide the transport that they are getting an we aren't! We had no car or means of transport so we were effectively stuck.
Not to mention i had payed 750€ to be there that no other competitor that i spoke to had payed anything!! (that wasn't British)
Personally i think it was the worst organised ski race i have been to and strongly advise not to do it. The way i was treated was the worst i have ever been treated at a ski competition and it removes all enjoyment from the racing and skiing aspect that you are there to have.

My thoughts on the tour format
I like it. but rules need to be put in place now by FIS. Tours should not exceed 8 to 10 stages maybe even only 4 or 5 for juniors. It is such a hard format and it takes a lot of toll on the body and mind. By limiting the number of stages then it can not get to the stage cycling has got to. were your body takes so much beating that you have to train immense amounts and the only way to do that is take drugs. I dont think anyone wants skiing to turn out like cycling has! so i think the tour format to go forward needs to be done carefully.

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