Sprint biathlon today. Stuck
my stock back together and tried it today: it seems to work, but
my shooting was pretty modest. Missed 2 and 1, disappointing. Skiing
much better than Friday, but still not great - I have not really
skated on snow since last April. Simon was well back, but apparently
someone beat me: will have to wait for the results tonight...
Last night I was overcome
by a need to ski, and took my classic skis out at 10pm to ski up
to the top of the valley under the full moon: sensational.
|Friday 17 January,
Biathlon relay, and probably
my worst ever biathlon result.
I noticed a couple of days
ago a crack in my rifle stock, but as it was too narrow to glue
I ignored it. Well, as I was zeroing before the race, I flung the
rifle on my back as usual and it fell apart... I replaced the stock
with that of one of the team's less important members, but even
after moving the handstop 6" I could still not hit much. I
skied 1 penalty loop prone and standing: a disgraceful result. And
I felt weak and slow in the skiing.
15km classic, and a really
We were worried about the
warm weather forecast, but it was clear and cold overnight, so I
tried a Toko dark blue stick-wax as it works on snow temperature,
which is less variable than air temperature. I had great stick and
adequate glide (also a worry as the first mile or so of each of
the two loops is more or less flat). I was running scared, having
been beaten on Monday, and was getting pretty tired by the time
I got to the top; a rest down to 'Herringbone Hill' then up as if
rocket-propelled: bags of power, and no problem with grip. The second
loop even better, but worried about lack of power double-poling,
so really pushing up the hills to compensate: as one should anyway.
I finished nearly 2' ahead
of Simon (who was 3' ahead of 3rd), despite having been almost knocked
down by a tourist within 200yds of the start: very satisfying, and
probably my best classic race ever. A shame not to have done it
at the nationals.
Did the first leg of the 4x10km
cross-country relay: my first classic race for two years, and a
modest story. With only two days of acclimatisation to the 1500m
altitude, it was going to be hard. But I wasn't expecting a shadow
to sit behind me clipping my skis, only to overtake me and leave
me standing in the last kilometre, revealing himself as Simon Heard,
a new name having spent the summer training in New Zealand. Normally
I am a strong finisher, and a strong double-poler, so that was a
Serre Chevalier holds so many
memories for me: I first skied here 10 years ago exactly, and have
been back for the same races every year since except Olympiec year.
A real nostalgia trip.