After three weekends of racing in Europe, it was time for a little bit of rest and reflection and of course, training. For that, there is nowhere better in Europe than Seefeld, Austria, where we spent the past week training and recharging our batteries for the second half of the season. Seefeld’s endless trail system is perfect for a training camp. And after a month in hotels, being able to cook our own meals for a week was a very welcomed change!
2020 started off with a city sprint in Dresden, Germany where I had my best world cup sprint qualifier so far this season, qualifying in 22nd. Unfortunately, I didn’t stay on my feet in my quarterfinal brining my day to an end earlier than I was hoping, finishing 29th. Despite taking a tumble there were lots of positive feelings leaving Dresden and I always really enjoy racing there. I teamed up with my teammate Katherine the following day for a team sprint, where we skied a strong race and finished 3rd in our semifinals, coming up just a toe short of making the final, placing 11th overall.
From there we travelled to Pragelato, Italy the 2006 Olympic venue to compete in an OPA continental cup. The courses were really fun and the valley beautiful. For both me and Katherine it was a really good weekend of racing. I won the 15km classic race with Kath finishing 2nd and on Sunday Kath took the win in the 5km skate and I finished 3rd. Between the two of us we won enough pasta to last a lifetime and managed to eat most of it between the team during our training camp in Seefeld.
After Italy is was back to the world cup for a weekend of racing in Oberstdorf, Germany, the site of next year’s World Championships. The courses are hard and reward those who are feeling good. My energy took a dip for the worse leading into the Oberstdorf world cup weekend and as much as I tried to manage things the weekend was less than I was hoping for. It’s pretty rare for every race to go well in a season so a blip in the road or two are to be expected. I missed qualifying for the heats by a significant amount and faded far out of the top 30 in the second half of the distance race, it was time for a little break. A bit of rest, a reset and a short block of good training in Seefeld has me excited to get back to racing this weekend in Falun, Sweden. Saturday will feature a classic sprint followed by a 10km mass start skate race on Sunday. From there, the team will head farther north to Ostersund, Sweden where the SkiTour 2020 will begin February 15th. Six races across Sweden and Norway in 8 days, it will be a busy few weeks of world cup action with many chances to reach new goals.
Looking back on this past month of racing and the season so far as a whole, I am really happy with how racing has been going and I am really excited to kick of the second half of the season with renewed energy. There are a lot of exciting things still to come this season including home world cups in Quebec and Canmore in March, the SkiTour 2020 in February and National Championships on some of my favourite trails, at Sovereign Lake the end of the season. If you are around any of those places this spring, make sure to come out and cheer us on!