Down, down and further down
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 09:49

After sunshine every time comes the rain. This was how my last weeks looked like. I had a really successful Romanian Championships weekend, but unfortunately I got sick the day after, so I couldn´t train nothing during my days at home.  I was not 100% fit when I left Romania in direction of Ukraine, but hoped to get better every day.

The second World Cup round was the same time also European Championships. The organizers made the same “mistake” like we made 2 years ago in Romania: they wanted to organize much more than they could (World Cup, Junior World Champs, Youth European Champs and Masters World Champs). As we realized it in 2010, here we could see the same again: it´s too much for an inexperienced team. Our program was: Monday – Model event; Tuesday – Mixed sprint relay; Wednesday – Sprint; Thursday – Middle; Friday – rest day; Saturday – Relay (Laura and me had no relay) and Sunday – Long distance.
Arriving to Kiev Sunday afternoon I had to wait for Laura, she had a late plane landing at 00:30, so afterwards we took a mini bus and arrived to Sumy Monday morning 6:00. It wasn´t the best way to travel, but it was still better then to travel by train for 2 days.

On the model event we had some really big surprises. First of all almost no snow in the forest and the wideness of the tracks was absolutely not as marked on the map. All the tracks, the dashed ones also were as wide as the continuous ones should be. The third thing we realized that the organizers have big transport problems. Double filled buses were an everyday thing.

As Romania had some participants, not only me, I had an official mixed relay team with Andreea Hepcal. I had a good starting leg, was 7th at the public control, but unfortunately had a longer loop after, so I lost some places, but was still in the top at the changeover. Andreea has not so much experience (it was her second international competition), so she lost some time on her legs. I tried to fight us up every time, but I couldn´t. We finally finished on a disappointing 39th place (13th place on European Championships).

I made an almost perfect race on Wednesdays sprint, but was unfortunately much to slow. The sickness from the week before took much out of me. I was only 116% of the winner (a very good result for me), but it wasn´t enough for more than a really disappointing 42nd place.  Laura made a good sprint finishing on the 35th place and taking one world cup point.

The disappointments of the week continued with the middle distance on Thursday. I had a good starting position, made only 2 small route choice mistakes, but had really bad skis. I met almost nobody in the forest… when I finished I thought I will take some points, but I had to be really disappointed again. Once again good time, 117%, but only a bad 39th place.  But Laura at least made the race of her life! She finished 29th, taking a lot a points  She made almost no mistakes, she could catch a Finnish girl how passed her already once. Two races with around 130% for Laura were a dream one year ago, but no she is already on that level and she still has a big potential to develop.

Friday we used the rest day to make a little bit of sightseeing in Sumy. As we had no relay teams on Saturday we went out to the arena only to try to find some wax gliding on this wet conditions and almost no snow.

The competition week ended on Sunday with a disaster. Long distance mass start: on the way to the first control on a steep downhill, trying to avoid some other crashed competitors I also crashed and broke my pole. There my race was over. Continuing with one pole would have been impossible, skiing back to the start, taking a new pole and starting again would have been also too much lost time. As I thought, that I will travel directly to Kazakhstan and need energy for the races there I skied back to the start and stopped. Laura made a good first loop, but missed a lot on the second one. So she finished without points today.

This week in Ukraine was absolutely Laura´s week. She made 9 points and two good races. For me it was a big disappointment. I think too many people planned their performance peak for this week. My goal is the total World Cup, so I hope the next week in Kazakhstan will be much better and I will gather more points. Thanks to my parents for coaching (my father) and cooking (my mother) to us during the week!

Laura will travel home to Mora to help on Vasaloppet and I´m at the third World Cup round in Kazakhstan. I have bad internet connection, so I can´t upload pictures from last week, but it´s a week to forget...



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