The transformation that has taken place here in Davos over the last week has been quite amazing! We traveled straight from Lillehammer last Monday to find the Swiss Alps missing what they are so renown for. With only a 1.2km loop so far, and the weather not really being cold enough most of the time to make snow, the organisers had a lot of work to do! Despite all this, they managed to pull it all off.
Unlike many teams, we don’t have a support team travelling with us for this part of the trip. With no car, this can make things difficult, especially when you decide to do a week’s worth of shopping at one go. No, not our smartest move, but the solution of taking that massive trolley to the other side of the city with us on the bus was just pure genious! So innovative in fact that people were amused and shocked at our creativity….
With solid tracks I was excited to see what sort of result I could produce on Saturday’s 15km classic. After last weekend I have the confidence that I have reasonable shape so went out reasonably hard catching up to and skiing with a lapping Italian athlete. By the top of the climb, I felt the same tightness and ‘stitch’ type pain forming under my ribs as I felt in Lillehammer’s classic race. After the long down It had subsided but quickly returned after another 3-4mins of work. Just like last time, I struggled to control my breathing as the tightness and pain increased. I tried to push through it but as the muscles began to cramp I found myself completely oxygen deprived.
It’s strange that it only occurs during maximal intensity in classic. It has to do with possibly a more tense movement, and higher core activation all creating a lot of strain on an area which is obviously not completely recovered. I will try and commence physio treatment this week to help the recovery process, it’s just lucky I can continue with skate racing with no concerns.
Sunday’s Sprint was another reasonable result given my poor sprint preparations this season. I placed 88th but the main purpose at this point is to better prepare myself for World Championships. The Team Sprint has always been a bit of a special event for me and Phil, and I intend to not only obtain a start in the event, but also ski to a level that will not let down a solid performance from my team mate.
The great news is that due to a lack of snow, next weekend’s French World Cup that I never intended on competing in has been moved to here in Davos! The events have also been changed to a 15km skate (PERFECT!) and another skate sprint. So Davos 2.0 gives me another shot to try and see how my shape is coming along.