After the Canadian world cups I flew back over the pond to Switzerland to spent Christmas in Davos with my tour de Ski teammates.
This was my first year being allowed to race the tour de ski. I have wanted to race the tour for the past couple years so I was excited to finally get the chance. The tour started off pretty slow for me in Oberhof, Germany. I had a really bad prologue on the first day with left me in 52nd place overall. Not exactly the start I was looking for… The next day in the 15 km classic pursuit I was able to make up some time and catch 19 skiers and move myself into 33rd position. This is when my tour really got fun for me. The next race was in Val Mustair, Switzerland where I finished in 3rd place in the Skate Sprint. This was my first medal in a skate race ever.
|In my semi final in Val Mustair Sprint|
|nice pic of Alex and I in the 1/4 final|
The tour de ski got much tougher after the Swiss Sprint race. We had 4 races in 4 days at two different venues in Italy. I started to feel better and better after each race. I was able to recover fully every night and race well.
In Toblach/Dobbiaco I finished the 35km skate race in 23th position, and the next day 11th in the individual start classic race.
Then Finally we drove our bus to the last venue of the tour, Val di Fiemme. This is the Venue of the World Championships this February so it was great to ski the courses and get a feel for them. The first race was a 15 km mass start. I sat in the back of the pack almost the entire race until the last lap. I made my way through the group and with 450 meters and a big hill between me and the finish I was within 7 seconds of the leaders. I attacked the hill and made up some of the time. I went over the top of the hill much faster than the leaders and used my speed to catch up to them and use their draft. I passed 5 guys in the last 50 meters of the race and ended up running out of time to pass the leader. I ended up 2nd by a very small margin. I needed another 5 meters to get my first win!
|I am on the far right # 18 making moves|
The last day of the tour was the grueling hill climb. Not exactly the perfect event for a tall and heavy sprinter. I suffered my way up the ski run that at times was a 35% grade. I lost a bunch of positions and moved from 11th overall in the tour to 23rd. This didn't bother me, I am really happy with how the tour went for me and cant wait to do it again next year.