After only being back home for three days after World Juniors in Utah, it was time to unpack, and repack, so I could head to Europe! While I was only home for a few days, the skiing at Telemark was amazing, and I was fortunate to be around for Pacific Sport Okanagan’s Athlete Excellence Award ceremony.
After the flight to Munich we drove to Toblach, Italy, where I could adjust to the time zone and prepare for the first races of the Euro race trip in Zwiezel, Germany. For those of you who are not familiar with Toblach, it is a popular World Cup destination and generally just an amazing place to ski! With so many trails winding all over the tops of mountains and farming fields, Toblach was the perfect place to put in some solid hours of super fun skiing.
This is the amazing view of the Toblach ski stadium!
After a few sleepless nights thanks to jet lag, the BC team headed to Zwiesel for the OPA Continental Cup. The first race was the sprint, where I surprised myself by making it to the final, finishing the day in 6th place. Comparing this result to last year when I didn’t even advance into the heats (top 30) on the OPA Cup, I was very pleased! The distance skate race did not go as planned as I was stuck on a pair of very slow skis, disappointing day of racing for me. The final OPA race was the classic pursuit, where I started very far back, but managed to ski a decent time and make up numerous positions during the race.
Once the German races were finished, we were lucky to head into Prague (Czech Republic) for a day of playing tourist!
After our Czech adventure the team headed to Davos, Switzerland for a few nights on the way to the Swiss Cup races at Campra. Davos, like Tobalch, offered amazing skiing and great food to prepare us for the next races. Breaking up the racing with some relaxing skiing in the mountains was well worth the extra few hours of driving!
I was lucky to have previously raced at Campra (Switzerland) last year at an OPA Cup, so I knew what to get ready for. Saturday’s classic 10km was a great race for me, after leading for much of the race I was happy to get second place on the day. Sunday was not an amazing day in 10km skate as I suffered from shin pains due to the conditions of the track, meaning I was in need of some help at Kelowna Manual Therapy!
After traveling and racing for the last 5 weeks, I am excited to be back home so I can get some recovery and build up to race my first World Cup in Quebec City and Nationals in a few weeks. The skiing in the Okanagan is still amazing, and I hope it stays that way for the next month!