Even though the Matsboloppet isn’t the biggest of ski events around, I am still satisfied to be able to say that today I had my first win here in Sweden. It’s a good thing that this guy wasn’t here today, otherwise then I could have been in trouble!!
No, but in all seriousness, good luck to Henry and his preparations for the Vasa Loppet. His results have been impressive and therefore the positive exposure is definitely not unjustified however put him against someone like Philpot Bellingham in a sprint and I think I could safely back my team mate in for the win.
Anyway back to today! The 11km classic event was held on a pretty flat 2.2km loop and my initial intention was to use grip wax to try and concentrate on the technical changes that I have made in the striding technique. It just wasn’t worth it in the end, I was there to win and choosing to go with an option that I knew would have surely been slower was just not doing it for me. It was a good decision in the end because I had to fight for the lead the whole race!
After the first lap, I was slightly ahead according to the splits, then after the second lap Måns Sunesson (http://m-sunesson.se) and I were even. This made me really try and find another gear on that 3rd lap, which gained me 10 seconds, however really sent me into what we commonly refer to as ‘the Hurt Box’. I then red-lined and had to fight hard to stay powerful and aggressive but lost 5 second in the 4th lap. The 5th was therefore torture, I left everything I had out there and managed to grab the win by just 1.3 second. Congrats to Måns, and fellow DSA member Gilberto Panisi (http://gilbertopanisi.weebly.com/)from Italy who placed 3rd. Team mate Jackson Bursill also skied a strong race finishing 4th!
These were the skis of the day – all part of the new pairs I was given this year. The new narrow tip and tail may look strange, but I’ve got to say that I love the way they feel! Thanks again Atomic Nordic.
Mattias said that I should go for the win as you get this ‘sweet trophy’ at the end of it. Not sure what happened to that end of the deal, but I’m probably even happier to receive these bed sheets as a prize! Exactly 1 week ago in Stockholm, Teresa and I were wanting to buy ones exactly like these for the apartment, but we weren’t stoked on the prize tag! So despite what it may look like, bed sheets were a sweet reward
This afternoon was back to the gym for Strength and a short 40min run. Quite a hard schedule to follow after 2 days of tough races but soon I will be tapering for the bigger races that I have been waiting all season for!