Great weekend's skiing in
la Feclaz. Took the overnight train to Chambery and arrived just
in time for the final race of Brit week in la Feclaz; won that (a
10km skate) and checked out the course for Sunday's Savoyarde.
The Savoyarde: France's second
biggest ski race (apparently), the main race is a 42km skate, with
a 21km race at the same time: cut out to the finish after one lap
for the short race, which means you don't know who you are racing
against until after the first lap.
Shoulder to shoulder on the
start-line: I got a place on the front row, and got away surprisingly
well. It was all pretty busy, with the course narrowing after half
a mile, so that it was a little uncomfortable skiing two abreast.
Someone skied over my pole and I got spun round, finding myself
facing a seething mass of skiers... turned round safely after losing
only a few places.
Then it was a matter of settling
into the rhythm and finding my place in the race; the long, gentle
climb up from the farthest point gained me a few places, and after
a mad little dash at the end of the first lap as the 21km racers
went for the finish, I found myself in a group of 10, in 9th to
18th places. I was finding it quite difficult, as the pacing at
the back of a group is very uneven, not at all what I am used to
from time-trial racing. Eventually I fell on a downhill corner,
and never managed to catch the group again. I did catch two stragglers,
at the same time as two strong finishers passed me, so I finished
A really hard race, and I'm
not sure that I could have done more: I felt strong and maintained
good technique throughout, had great skis, and don't think I could
have done anything better, except not fall over.
That put me on a euphoric
high for days. Must do more of these!