Monday, January 24, 2005 - Perspective
Haywood Report: The Worst Day in Classic Racing

- By: Devon Kershaw

OK - so I have been in Oberstdorf for a week, and I have seen a ton of wacky things happen. If ever you find yourself complaining of the weather, please be thankful you do not live here. This is the worst place for weather I have EVER seen. Let me give you a quick synopsis:

  • Day 1: sunny -2
  • Day 2: snowing buckets, then stopping and becoming cloudy +1
  • Day 3: raining cats and dogs +3
  • Day 4 (race day 1): still pouring rain until 10AM; delayed start because of high winds (supposed to start at 10AM); starts dumping snow at 10am and snows all day long, 0 degrees
  • Day 5: today's sprint race; don't worry it was still snowing like crazy and sitting at 0
  • Nuts!  At the end of Day 3 there was no more snow, and since then it has snowed a ton, like around a meter.  It is a waxing nightmare.  For Friday's race, I ended up racing on “hairies” (no wax at all, just a sandpapered base), but my skis were a little to stiff, making the hardest 10km classic course I have ever skied that much harder.  I was 6th after transition, but then in the skate I lost 11 places and ended up 17th (it was a 10km + 10km double pursuit). I had picked the wrong skate skis for the conditions, and therefore making a hard race even tougher.  Harsh!  My race started at 2:15PM, when all the delays were said and done.  A long day at the office!

    Today's sprint race was crazy again, a super tough 1.2 km course, with two huge hills and another waxing nightmare to top it off.  I went with hard wax (of sorts) because of the tough day yesterday with hairies, and it was sketchy at best.  I qualified 10th, behind the surprise entry of the entire classic Norwegian sprint team (minus one).  In the rounds of 16, my quarterfinal was with Trond Iversen (World Cup winner), Havvaard Berkeli (World Cup winner) and John Kristian Dahl (World Cup winner).  Ouuuuuweeeee it was fun!  Seriously though it was!  I was so pumped to get the chance to race the best in the world.  I ended up 3rd in my heat and almost advancing, which was amazing because I had to run up both hills outside of the track because of the no-grip factor.

    It has been an eye opening experience here!  I have always heard that Oberstdorf is the toughest place to race in Europe and thought that I was tougher than that. Well, I haven't been so far, and these conditions are crazy.  I am not happy with my results this weekend so far, but have one more race tomorrow, a 15km skate mass start with 100+ people to turn it around.  I have been keeping positive, and am very pumped that I got a chance to race the World Championships trails before the actual world event (which is a month away).  All I have to say is good luck to those competitors next month that have to race me, because I have seen it all and am prepared for anything!

    Bring it on, baby, bring it on...

    For those that don't know the skiing jibber jabber, the races haven't been going well, and it's been some kind of tough racing!!!

    Haywood WC Report is powered by Haywood Securities Inc., proud sponsor of the Senior National Cross Country Ski Team

    Source: Cross Country Canada

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