Over the Christmas holidays I kept the focus on my ultimate goal of qualifying for the Under-23 World Championships. The good start to my season fueled my drive to succeed and I put in some good training hours in preparation to peak for the trial races in
In the 30km pursuit race I skied with the lead pack for 28 tough kilometers. It wasn’t until someone attacked on one of the final climbs when my lactated legs said enough and wouldn’t let me follow. I finished 7th place and 3rd U-23; a good result that put me in contention for a spot on the team. The classic sprint was another exciting day for me. I skied what was probably my best qualifier ever, finishing 9th and 4th U-23. I didn’t ski all the heats perfectly, but I did manage to make the B-final count and finished the day in 9th and 5th U-23. I was in the running and I knew I had to have a good day in the final race; the pressure was on.
Start of 30km Pursuit. I'm at the front on the left.
The final race, the 15km skate individual start has in the past been a strong race discipline for me. Last year I struggled with it due to my shin injury, but this year after having surgery to cure the injury I felt back to my normal self. I started the race with one goal in mind; ski as fast as I possibly can. I knew it would hurt however I had the motivation to push through it. All the home crowd cheering helped spur me on and I crossed the finish line completely spent. My result: 3rd place and 1st U-23! After 4 previous years of trying I finally accomplished my goal. I qualified for the Canadian World Junior/U-23 Championship Team! I didn’t stop shaking until well over 2 hours after finishing the race.
The Sunday NDC Thunder Bay Medallists: Andy, myself and Jimmy
And now here I am, in
Above: Some of the team eating lunch at the Scandic Hotel buffet.
Below: Skiing on the Vierumaki Trails in Finland. A little sketched out by the trails under the culvert. Let's just say I had a bad past experience involving some ski wreckage.
Another bonus of coming to
Inside the Peltonen Factory! Eric checking out ski cambers with the high tech Swedish ski testing machine.
On that note I would like to thank all my personal sponsors for helping me realize one of my biggest dreams, racing in
Next up, Estonia World Cup! Game on.