Race Report: Adam at Craftsbury

by Adam

Because I wasn’t feeling 100% and had a minor cold, I set a goal of going as easy as possible while staying with the lead group, then attacking over the top of the hills after 3km.
The calm before the start (Gary Solow photo)

The calm before the start (Gary Solow photo)

The race started to the ringing of bells, confusing me since I was expecting a gunshot.  I struggled to stay with the leaders, but was satisfied with my kick and was able to stay with the lead group.  The tracks became 5 lanes instead of 7, and I managed to transfer myself into and empty track.  I started catching up, because I wasn’t stuck behind the line of people double polling.  I expected a small lead pack to form quickly, just like in the Rikert mass start, but the entire pack stayed together.  I managed to keep a space in the track, but not in the top 3 like I wanted.  I began to notice just how spectacular my kick was, as I was able to maintain long powerful strides up dinosaur hill.  At coaches corner, the course turned right to the 1km mark.  I took the inside edge and moved forward into a brief climb.  My skis flew down the downhill, and in to the equally sized up opposite it.    I followed Antoine  (fast Canadian guy)  up the hill and copied his beautiful striding technique.  I soon started the long downhill between 2 and 3 km.  My skis, which I had spent hours waxing and brushing flew and I began to catch Adam Witkowski, who had been leading up to that point.
Adam takes the lead on Screamin' Mimi (Gary Solow photo)

Adam takes the lead on Screamin’ Mimi (Gary Solow photo)

I slipped ahead of him on a corner and flew into first, Russell and Antoine also caught up and we each took one of the 3 tracks at the bottom  of the hill.  I was on the far left and was able to avoid transitioning to a running stride because of my great kick.  I came over the hill in the lead, but closely followed by Antoine and Russell in the other tracks.  The course started up a super steep hill and I still was able to stride, not slipping at all.  I could tell that Russell was getting tired.  There was one more hill before the down, so I tried to carry out another of my goals, and hammered over the top,  accelerating quick.  I came over the hill and was surprised to be alone.  I rested on the downhill, before striding up the following hill with long powerful strides.  The gap between me and Antoine widened and I approached “screamin’ Mimi”, the biggest uphill on the course.  In order to win, I needed to hold the lead for another kilometer.  I tried to extend my stride and glide farther as I flew up the hill persued by hordes of sprinting skiers who had been energized by the sight of the 4km sign.  I increased my effort and accelerated over the top of the hill.

The finish!  (Gary Solow photo)

The finish! (Gary Solow photo)

There were only 3 uphills left, so I focused on my goal of accelerating over the tops of all of them.  I came into the final hill, which was long and gradual, and immediately preceded the finish.  I focused on my technique and neared the top.  I ignored my head telling me the hill was over and kept accelerating with my long strides over the top.  I broke into a sprint, with enough of a lead that catching me would be a challenge.  I crossed the line exhausted, scoring my first classic eastern cup win, my first mass start Eastern cup win, and my first Eastern Cup win of 2015.

Adam's 2nd podium of the weekend

Adam’s 2nd podium of the weekend

I doubt that my victory would have been achievable without such amazing kick, so many thanks to Eric for testing wax, and Scottie and Dennis for helping me create a winning combination of skis and skier.


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