A bit of an epic on the way there, with gale force winds and an abandoned attempt at landing before getting to land the 2nd time around. Although once safely in Tromsø the travel was simple with only a 5 min journey to the hotel from the airport and about 20min to the stadium from the hotell.
The sprint competition was taking place on saturday. The track was long, but generally not too difficult, with some really high speed sections and also a long gradual climb. Pretty much a perfect sprint track for me. Sprint racing in xc skiing is completed with a qualification time trial with the top 30 advancing to 5 heats of 6. The top 2 from each heat plus 2 lucky losers advance into the semifinals. 2 heats of 6. In world cup it is then the top 2 and 2 lucky losers that make it to the final but in norwegian cup it is the top 3 from each semifinal.
I qualified in 8th. I was pretty happy with that as i had caught the person infront of me for 15 seconds and had to go round them in the deep snow. The times had been so close that less that a second would have jumped me up 3 places. So i was confident i had the ability to make the final.
In my quarterfinal, or my heat, i had some bad luck. I had a bad started and slotted into 5th place. I wanted to be near the fron for a narrow section coming up so moved out to go round to the front. I got to about second place when someone from the train of people to my right suddenly jumped out and skied over my ski as i pushed off it. I quickly hit the ground and lost the pack. I never got back on and finished 6th in my heat and out of the competition.
Pretty annoyed a focused on getting ready for the finals, a 20k pursuit, the next day.
Again i had some bad luck with the weather. Heavy snow during the first few km of the classic section of the race caused my skis to ball up and drag. This was excellent for the first 3 k of which it was mainly up hill. But as we came back into the stadium i simply could not keep up on the double pole sections and down hill sections. I fought to keep up as long as i could but eventually i was dropped and i skied on my own for the rest of the race. Occasionally i got passed as i was exhausted from the earlier effort to try and keep with the pack.
A fun weekend but not exactly the results i was looking for.