Woo-hoo… I have finally achieved something that has been a milestone ever since I started skiing! It is such a good feeling to be improving every year and showing the results you are aiming for.
After Bulgaria we left for Oslo, we were greeted with lovely weather that made training so enjoyable. A great hotel that accommodated all the athletes made it sociable and fun, the variety of food was incredible and it filled every desire of the stomach. Even though I was feeling lethargic everyday I was mentally enjoying every bit of Norway.
The race was hard and painful but I felt much lighter then in Bulgaria. I shot 2 penalties and came in 82nd. I knew I was still in bad shape so I started preparing for Sochi and after a couple of days we chartered to Sochi.
It is safe to say that Sochi is far from finished and still in heavy construction, everything apart from the venues are still getting built. The weather was very contrasting, with sun, fog and snow hitting us on different days, but most of the time it was very warm and pleasant.
My first race finished with history, the first Aussie male to make top 40 and achieve World Cup points! Zero penalties in my 20km individual and fast skiing put me in 33rd place. I felt relaxed and everything on that day was perfect, I am very happy from this result, I have been dreaming of World Cup points and finally I have some! The sprint wasn’t as exciting but I felt good and I was satisfied, it was slushy and snowing so starting almost last didn’t go to my advantage. I finished 74th with 2 penalties.
It has been a very good season for me indeed and with only one World Cup left it is almost all over! Although there is still a couple of closing races left after my last WC but that will be all fun.
We are now in Khanty where it is a little chilly. My race is tomorrow and I am feeling good so hopefully it all goes to plan.
What a race! Let me tell you, there was defiantly a lot of pain and frustration along the track… My skis were defiantly not running to a good standard and my overall form was lagging in power, put those 2 together and you have yourself a bad race! The only thing that was going good for me was the shooting, 0,0,0 until the last standing where it crumbled into 3 penalties, with those came frustration and a lack of motivation for the last loop! Finished in 84th , far from ideal.
We have now arrived to Bansko (BUL) for the Open European Championships. It’s a bit weird here with all the little side shops and strip joints, but It’s different and I like that. Europe is basically all the same and you really get over it, its good to have a variety of culture and architecture in your trip, helps you clear up a little from the long 6 months away from home!
I have already raced the 20km individual and it wasn’t what was looking for. Although I did have really good shooting maing only making one mistake, but unfortunately my skis weren’t running good and my shape is still down. I placed 26th/69 which is not too bad, but having only one miss I would of liked to be in the top 10. I am feeling better and better in each race so hopefully tomorrow I have a good one.
A quick trip to the U/23 Cross Country World Championships that didn’t go the way I planned and I returned to Obertilliach, this was where the Junior Biathlon Champs where being held.
Lots of athletes were getting ill, 3 of our team members also managed to catch it and eventually came my turn! I called it the inevitable Illness, If not now then it would of happened another day in the season, I think if I manage to get sick only once this season I’m breaking some records. Only shame it happened right before my main event of the season.
Fischer man cleaning my boots from rocks.
A week in bed and I started training again, after 3 days I had my first race in the World Championships that are placed in Nove Mesto (CZE). Not too bad considering my Illness but far from an ideal competition! Missed 3 penalties and skied at least 40 seconds slower then usual, 94th/132.
The atmosphere here in Nove Mesto is great, 20 thousand spectators and great-prepared tracks. I would have to say it is one of the hardest courses I’ve done, long uphill’s and steep windy downhill’s leaving no recovery for the athletes.
Feeling better and better every day but I still have some sort of monster down my throat, hopefully I can get him out before the 20km Individual.
Also I was so sick that I passed out and I needed extra oxygen!! No, not really, this is the inhalation machine that i have borrowed from the Russian Doctor to clear my airways, thank you again to him! I am actually surprised he helped out because now I may be a serious threat for them in the next race…… Not..
I have had limited internet access over the past 2 weeks. Now that I have some time on my hands, I will write you up a short update.
The second trimester was concluded with various feelings, unquestionably I am not disappointed, but I think the results could have been a slightly brighter. After feeling so atrocious and being surprised with 71st place in World Cup Oberhof (GER), I was confident my ski form will only get better. But unfortunately my ski form stayed the same in Ruhploding WC (GER), where I placed 82nd with 3 penalties. The same went for Anthloz (ITA) where I was 76th with 2 penalties which was last WC of the trimester.
In Anthloz, judging by the symptoms I had during the race, altitude attacked me from top to bottom. I was gasping for air, couldn’t push hard and on my last lap felt like my legs were frozen. This problem with the altitude doesn’t surprise me as had zero altitude preparation before or during the season.
What I thought of the trimester? I considered it satisfactory. I was skiing consistently fast (compared to last year), I haven’t had any special intensity to be in good shape, and it’s only half way into the season. I have been keeping healthy which is the main thing and I have things that need to be worked on, so I think there’s still better results to expected (fingers crossed).
I am now leaving for the U/23 World Cross Country Champs, which are held in Liberec (CZE). Excited to the see the Cross Country crew and hopefully pull of a good result in the 15km Skate. After I will be preparing for the Biathlon Worlds, which are also In Czech Republic in a place called Nove Mesto. This is where I want to be in top shape.
Bye for now.
A CAREERS BEST! Christmas Came Early!
Ok, let me explain. It started in Pokljuka where the final World Cup for the trimester was held. I was aiming to make the pursuit of course, but shot 3 penalties and came 82nd. I felt good on my skis but looking at the result, I think I could have skied a tad quicker. The town just below Pokljuka is called Bled, it’s a beautiful historical place that has the most pleasant lake with wild swans swimming in it, it is one of the most peaceful and relaxing places on the WC circuit. Anyway, this meant I was able to race the last IBU Cup in Ridnaun – and I was ready to pump out a good result!
Race conditions were tough for the 10km sprint. It was snowing heavily, and I’ve never really been one to race well in fresh snow, but today that all changed! I kept a fast steady pace and skiing up the massive narrow uphill, (where it’s impossible to overtake) I felt like everyone was going way to slow! I finished 13th even with one penalty! Out of the 130 starters I had the 13th fastest ski time! Now that was something special and just about the perfect Christmas gift I could have asked for!
The next day was the pursuit. Not awfully exciting, I skied well…..but……shot 5 penalties and finished 25th. But, this IBU Cup was definitely a high note in my career and what a great way to finish off the first trimester! With two IBU Cups and 3 World Cups complete, I have definitely improved a lot since last year!
Now I just have to remain healthy during this break period! It feels like sicknesses are creeping up on me everywhere but maybe I am just paranoid!
Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
A chilly -27
Ostersund 10km WC Event was finished with a pleasant feeling. It was chilly day with -13 and strong wind which made the chill factor ridiculous! I wore my warmest thermals and I was ready to give it my best. The race started a little earlier then the 20km at 13:30, which I was grateful for. I hate racing in the afternoon, it is dark, cold, and the whole day you walk around nervous not knowing how to prepare for the competition. I placed 67th out of 104 starters with a total of 3 penalties, missing out only 10 seconds of 60th which would have put me in the pursuit event! Now you can see how tight our fields are over the 10km, in 10 seconds there were 7 people.
Now I defiantly know I have made a good improvement from last year! It is a great feeling to know that the training you are doing is working.
We have now arrived to snowy Hochfilzen (AUT) where it loves to snow! Last night we probably got 40cm.. I personally don’t like racing in snowy conditions since I have no good skis for the weather, it’s just not my snow to perform, but I know I have to overcome these fears and start racing respectable in all conditions! The race is in 2 days so lets hope the snow stops, the altitude doesn’t affect me, and I feel like I am on fire on the day! I really want to start qualifying for pursuit, and I’m not too far off, so let’s hope everything works out on the day and I can finally get there.
My team mate Dyllan has a habit of putting a little too much on his dinner plate and not finishing his food, so tonight when we saw him put a colossal amount of dinner on his plate, we made him eat it. Although it took almost an hour he got through It, certainly gave me a good laugh watching him eat all of it.
All for now, talk soon.
Alright well, that was harder then I thought it was going to be. The 20km in Ostersund (SWE) was defiantly a tough one, and the fast icy snow conditions didn’t make it any easier. It was a long and painful 20km, I held a steady pace but felt like I was half asleep most of the way, couldn’t increase speed when I wanted too, it was like I was set on a certain gear and couldn’t get any faster no matter how hard I tried. Finished 76th out of 103 starters.
That was one of my best results in World Cup, so why am I complaining? Well, I feel like I should be able to ski faster, so let’s hope I’m right!
Tomorrow is the sprint event, I still feel a little on the tired side from the 20km, but hopefully I should be all fresh by 13.30 tomorrow.. Don’t miss it
Also congratulations to Dyllan Harmer for making his 20% World Champs Qualification in the IBU Cup today.
What a great way to start the season off! Top 40 in both races over the weekend in Idre (SWE). Conditions were tough for this IBU Cup with the first day being +2 and slushy and the next -10 and icy. Many athletes crashed and broke their rifles, I managed to stay up right but ruined my best pair of skis on a stone. I was very happy with my shooting, 0 penalties the first day placing me 30th out of 137 starters, next day 2 shots went wide which placed me a little back to 40th. Overall I was happy with my ski speed, I usually get faster as the season goes on so let’s hope that will be the case again this year.
Next day after our race we head for Ostersund (SWE) where the first World Cup will be held. On our way there we saw Santa and his reindeer, he was a little selfish and ran off but left his deer behind.
I will go out and check the coarse today, and try to get used to it. Last year I flew off the track on a corner and ruined my race suit, skis, and dignity, let’s hope this year I can manage to stay on my feet, and punish out a good performance! I defiantly feel faster and stronger this year, so let’s hope this season is going to be great one!
Thanks and talk soon.