Here are some quick clips of the top finishers in the10km skate a World Junior Champs.  The first skier is the winner, Sindre Bjoernestad Skar, on his first trip up the hill in a three lap race.  

I was surprised even at this level at the differences in pace for the majority of the skiers between their first lap and the following two.  Clearly the skiers who maintained form and pace had the best results.  The Norwegians looked incredibly smooth, more than powerful (finishing the day 1, 6, 8, and 10).  The Russians were pushing so hard — one skier, Sergey Ustiugov, looked as if he was racing to the of the hill alone (I will update with a picture soon) — with one of the most powerful V2’s I’ve ever seen — only to V1 the second two trips by me (he finished 14th).

All in all the same lessons applied to what we talk about on our more local scale.  The skiers who maintained form and skied strong tactical races were able to push when it counted, carry speed over the tops of hills, and drop into tucks when they had capitalized on pushing hard.  The US guys fought hard and had solid results, but they are looking for more.

Jesse Diggins was the light of the day.  (To GMVS skiers) You all remember chasing her out in West Yellowstone during the sprint workout?  She looked pretty darn fast and she IS — first a National Champ in Rumford and today 7th in the World for Juniors!  Always good to keep prospective and take the best out of each workout.  We’ll have to dig out that video and watch it one more time when I get back!

The US is really professional these days.  I’m impressed with the differences and longer term prospective that drives the Team in comparison to when I journeyed to Austria as an athlete twelve years ago.  We are making progress and a big part of that is enjoying the process and looking forward to the hard years of work it takes to get to take a run at the top.  Today feeds tomorrow, the next week, the season — and that builds (if you let it) into a career.

Train hard, embrace REST, and be well.

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