The announcement came out today about the Seefeld 2019 World Championships team, and I’m very excited to be part of a strong US team! Full list here:
It will be my first time on a cross-country skiing World Championships team, and my brother Scott’s too. Several of my club teammates have also made the team – Adam Martin, Ben Lustgarten, and Ida Sargent – its going to be a good one! I couldn’t have made it to this point in skiing without great support from many angles: my team, Craftsbury Green Racing Project, our title sponsor Concept2, team supporters Judy Geer and Dick Dreissigacker, coach Pepa Miloucheva, wax tech Nick Brown, teammates and training partners, and my family. Looking forward to racing in Seefeld!
World Championships itself is about one month away, starting in mid-February. In the lead-up, here’s a look back at the season start:
Period I on the World Cup is known to be competitive, a challenging block of racing. This year was the 2nd time I’ve raced in Europe during Period I, which encompasses four race weekends from late November through mid-December. Based on my experience racing early season World Cups in 2016, I expected that it would be difficult but a great opportunity to push my skiing to the next level. The best way to rise to a truly competitive level at the World Cup, is to train smart and well all summer and fall, and then to go out and race World Cups, learning along the way.
There were a bunch of great things about travelling and racing on the World Cup this year, as well as some moments of struggle.
I’d have to admit that heading over to Europe, I thought I’d be able to put together a little more solid start result-wise than ended up happening. There were a lot of almost-great races, and many reassuring feelings that help me know that there’s still progress to make. It’s always my goal to take the best possible advantage of every race I can start, to go out and ski with everything I’ve got. Still, occasionally the body doesn’t feel as great as I want, or external factors interfere. All I can do is work to exert control over the parts of my race preparation and execution that I can, and let the rest happen, not stress about the strength of competitors or the difficulty of snow conditions. Somehow I fell in all 3 classic races I did during the early season… oops. Skate races were generally good, but in a few of them, I was missing a little pop especially from the middle of the race and lost too many seconds.
I raced in Ruka (Finland), Lillehammer and Beitostolen (Norway), and Davos (Switzerland), and then it was time to make the decision to go back home to VT for US Nationals or to stay for the Tour de Ski. With my eye set on World Championships, but the need to qualify to get there, I chose to return to VT.
US Nationals report next…