Saturday, January 26, 2002 - Perspective
X-C.com Team Update

- By: Rhonda Sandau

My Christmas holidays felt unusually long this year. In past years, I returned home from the December Continental Cup races with only a couple of days left before Christmas. However, this year the cancellation of the pre-Christmas races in Thunder Bay and Wisconsin left me with an extra week of holidays. The cancellations also provided me with an unplanned overnight stay in Thunder Bay, since the decision to cancel the races was announced only two hours AFTER my arrival in Thunder Bay! Although I was quite disappointed that the races were cancelled, I was somewhat relieved when the people at West Jet were kind enough to rebook my flight to Calgary for the next morning.

The Canmore Canada Cup races on January 12th and 13th ended my three week racing draught. Although there hasn't been very much snow in Canmore this year, it has been cold enough for the Canmore Nordic Center to blow a 5 km loop of man-made snow. Saturday's race was a one day pursuit. This consisted of a 5 km classic race in the morning and a 5 km skating pursuit start race in the afternoon (based on the morning's results). The conditions were extremely icy and fast, providing for some very fast race times. I ended up in 20th place after the first half of the pursuit, a fair distance back from the leader, Beckie Scott. I found that my body didn't have much speed in it for the classic half of the pursuit. This is most likely a result of not doing any races over the holidays. The second half of the pursuit went much better, and I found that my body had a lot more snap. I ended the pursuit in 17th position with the 13th fastest skating time. Sunday's race, a 10 km classic, went well. The wax was great, the course was fast and I was ready to race hard. I ended up in 14th position, which was a lot better than my classic race the day before.

The racing circuit continues with the Continental Cup finals held in Silver Star, B.C. this weekend (January 19th and 20th). Saturday's race is a 5 km classic for the women and 10 km for the men. Sunday's race is a 5 km skate for the women and 15km for the men. The course isn't very technical, yet it will still be challenging since there are not very many opportunities for recovery. These races will be my last opportunity to race the Canadian Women's team before they leave for the Olympics, which will be exciting!

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