1 month, 8 races, 5 countries and 24 hours of flying later, I am back home in Canmore. It was an awesome trip but it is nice to sleep in my own bed and cook my own food again!
The races in Schilpario were set up to be a mini Tour de Ski so that the results from each race stacked on top of each other with a final overall award after the last race. The results are on FIS at http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?event_id=25841&cal_suchsector=CC but they are the results from each individual day, not the overall results. Awards were given to the top 6 in the overall standings each day, not the times for that day.
Friday was the classic sprint. The course was really hard with a big uphill for the first third of the course, a twisty downhill, then flat around the stadium. I was feeling good and came third in the qualifier. I ended my recent run of bad luck in the heats as I made it into the A final. I lost some time on the uphill and was in 4th coming into the stadium. I was able to move into third with a double pole sprint to the finish, getting my first podium finish of the season! The metal cylinders in the picture are antique mining lanterns that were used in the amethyst mining in the region and were given out as awards for the day.
Day 2 was a 5km classic pursuit start based on the final results of the day before. First place started at 0 seconds, 2nd at 4s, 3rd at 8s with the time gaps getting smaller further down the rankings. I started 3rd and a few girls passed me on the first lap. I was in 6th at one point but I was able to stick onto one of the girls that had passed me and make up some time. I dropped a Slovenian at the beginning of the 2nd lap then I out-sprinted an Italian into the finish to come 4th in the pursuit (I had the 7th fastest time on the course). This meant I was in the top 6 again and got a nice amethyst trophy to bring home.
Sunday was a 10km skate, which I don’t enjoy much at the best of times but especially not after two days of tough racing. I didn’t have any energy or snap and I got passed by quite a few people. I'm not sure what place I ended up in the overall standings but I had the 12th fastest time of the day. I was utterly exhausted after the race and happy to have a break. We packed up, drove to Geneva where we spent the night, then we flew home Monday. Luckily we were on a direct Frankfurt - Calgary flight so we weren't traveling as long as we did on the way over.