February 19, 2013

Madison Capital Sprints

It was a weekend full of firsts! My first time to Wisconsin, my first time doing a city sprint, and my first SuperTour Sprint win!

It was a quick trip as we raced around the Wisconsin State Capital in Madison. Crews stayed up all night laying the snow in the street Friday night, we raced a classic sprint on Saturday, a skate sprint on Sunday, and crews came back to truck all the snow away.

Pushing snow around Friday Night

Cool place to race!
 Even though sprinting isn't my favorite event, I wanted to do these races because I am doing a couple city sprints on the World Cup later this season and needed the practice. City sprints are unique because the course isn't set up until the last minute so you don't always get a chance to ski it and there are no other trails around so our warm up and cool down are all done running. This is a little tricky as running uses slightly different muscles so everyone has there own method for making it work, something that takes practice. In addition, they are generally flat so classic skiing means double poling on skate skis, and tactics are exceedingly important. I was pleased to have gotten in lots of practice and even surprise myself at my own sprinting skills.

The races were part of the Madison Winter Fest so there were all kinds of events going on. Here are some snow sculptures!

a few more...

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And ice sculptures
more ice
 The classic day involved a lot of double poling. I shocked myself by actually reading the race and using tactics to my benefit. There was a head wind on the last block which was slightly downhill so I got in behind the girl who was leading and was able to rest in the draft so when we hit the last corner I was able to dig a little deeper and beat her to the line by just a boot length!
Classic podium: Jennie Bender, me, Nicole Bathe

 The next day was skate and I could not believe how sore I was from the previous day. I felt as if I was 90 years old so for me the name of the game was trying to trick my muscles. I wasn't skiing as well as I had hoped and didn't use the best tactics, getting passed on the last block into the finish, just as I did the day before. I guess Jennie learned and wanted some revenge on me!
Sprint around the capital, not photoshopped I promise!

Skate Podium: me, Jennie Bender, Caitlin Patterson
And just like that the whole event was over and I headed back to Park City for one last training block before heading to Europe.