26 February, 2011

World Championships 2011, Individual Race

It's been a long hard week of racing and focusing on going fast, but the main event was worth it; the Individual Race.  Hosted in Claut, the Individual course consists of 1450m of climbing, and 1750m of descending.  The Course has two bootpacks, one with a down-climb and Via Ferrata section, and finishes with a leg burning 1350m descent. (Photo Below:  Men's Senior Individual Race Start, courtesy of press.areaphoto.it)

The day started out as it usual has this trip, with being shuttled around by local Polizia and Militia/Army personnel to the start areas, except today we were forced to have a 300m warm up climb to the start area (which ended up being perfect).  Everyone was ready for the first of three climbs, which gained around 450m, followed by a short descent.  As the start gun went off the sprint start quickly got going, with one lead racer having a similar gear issue as my Teams race, and three others breaking their poles off the start line.  North American's hung in strong, with no gear failures (other than broken carbon skis, which were still skiable). (Photo Below:  Men's Final Bootpack, courtesy of press.areaphoto.it) 

Keeping a more conservative approach to the race, after the Teams, the pace was still going strong.  Pulling in matching Pete Swenson (USA) who took 2nd in the Patrouilles Des Glaciers last year, lungs were feeling pretty good (even with tasting blood all week from going hard).  North American's were all fairly close, pulling in and doing battle with European racers the whole way through.  Pete got the best of myself and James Minifie on the final descent, but everyone finished really close together. (Photo Below:  Men's Final Transition, courtesy of press.areaphoto.it)

Melanie Bernier made a notable 10th place finish in the women's (which unfortunately had a smaller course).  Overall even with a slightly smaller course, racers could put their foot on the gas and use up the tank a bit faster, which made the course that much more fun.  Now with a fun and good race behind me, finally getting the mental aspect of racing back, it's on for the Canadian Championship in Golden, the Dogtooth Dash!

Full Results Here.

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