Today's race started at 1:00 pm which was a welcome change from the norm. The afternoon start allowed for a relaxed morning and was quite enjoyable. The weather was perfect with clear blue skis, bright sun, and temperatures around -2. It was amazing (see picture below)!
The day started with Lorris and me zeroing three pairs of Madeleine's skate skis with Solda F15 violet. While Lorris was working up our test skis, I took to the course to compare Madeleine's potential race skis. As I worked through the race skis one pair, "879", stood out as a shining star. This particular pair was significantly better both in terms of feel and performance in glide tests. I was stoked on this pair and things were looking good!
By the time I got back from testing race skis, Lorris had our test skis ready to go. We worked through four potential glide waxes and once again Solda put on a very impressive performance. The best part? S30 was very much in the mix. As I've said before, once settling on a glide wax you need to test it in conjunction with S30. I'll provide a summary of the conditions and our waxes at the conclusion of the weekend.
Now to the race report! Last night we talked about strategy for today's race and concluded that the most important goal was skiing a relaxed and controlled first lap, and increasing the pace throughout the race. Madeleine executed the race plan to perfection and led the field to a very easy start. When she passed the feed station 750m from the start Madeleine looked to be skiing zone 1 at the most. Perfect.
Lorris was waiting at the 3.5km mark and radioed me to say that Madeleine was in the lead group in about 5th or 6th place. The other girls were doing the work and Madeleine was along for the ride.
At this point, the race began to open up and Caitlin Compton (USA) had developed a fairly significant lead. Brittney Webster and Milaine were in the hunt and had broken away from the rest of the pack. Madeleine came through the stadium for the first time in 6th place, where she stayed for the duration of the race.
The key to this race was that Madeleine started relaxed, which delayed the onset of lactic acid, and increased the effort throughout the race. Given the program we've put in place, her ability to deal with the lactic load of racing is going to continue to improve at a significant rate as the season progresses.
Tomorrow is a classic sprint and another opportunity to increase lactic tolerance. The sky is fully clear right now and the forecast is for significantly colder weather. I think that is probably accurate.
Full results from today - results
Classic sprint startlist - startlist