Apart from huge amounts of snow, i have also managed to improve my skiing ability ever so slightly. It is amazing what can be achieved in a week.
Yesterday was a local 22km classic race. I was taking part for a hard training session, and to get used to be back racing after almost a month out in december.
The weather conditions were far less than perfect, -9 degrees c and rain greeted us. The water hit us and immediately froze covering us all in a white snow man type look.
The mass start took place at 1pm, i started really hard thinking the pace would go off really fast. After 1k i had a clear lead and maybe by 2k had opened my lead up to almost 10 seconds. When we got to the top of the first climb i had identified a section where i could relax and get back into a good rhythm, before attacking the second round of the hilly route. Someone (the eventual winner) closed the gap over to me and was determined to get in front and slow the pace down. So a pack of 5 where together by the time we were at the top of the hill for the 2nd time. Now it was out onto the big lap of 13km round the lake. Much easier terrain awaited us but the pace didnt ease up. Nothing too eventful happened other than a broken pole which meant Geir Endre (my coach from NTG) had to stop and trade with an on looker, leaving him 25 seconds adrift of the group.
Thinking the group had definitely dropped to 4 people i was shocked when Geir Endre returned at the back of the group. In the last 3k i was rapidly fading when the eventual winner pushed on, i couldn't really respond as i was struggling to stay at the back of the group and with 3 people between me and the leader the gap was too big to try and close. As we came into the last km the pace suddenly dropped. People seemed to have given up the chance of catching the guy in front. Without much thinking i jumped out the track into the next one over and started giving it bore to try and catch the guy. Geir Endre was the only one able to stay with me. I got pretty close to the leader, but died at the last hurdle, a short steep climb up from under a bridge. Geir attacked here and took 7 seconds out of me on the last 200m.
A little disappointed he beat me, but 3rd place is ok. The form is definitely coming and with 3 days left before my European expedition of the season starts i am confident that my form will come back in time for World Cup and Junior World championship racing from next weekend onwards.