The mini-tour marking the end of the Supertour and (for me, at least) the last races of the season kicked off today with a challenging skate prologue race. And I’m excited to get this mini-tour underway!
Prologues are kinda weird because they’re not really a sprint – especially not in the altitude of Sun Valley! – but they’re not really a distance race, either. Pacing is pretty key. The women raced 2.8 km and the men did 3.3km. Why is a 2.8km so weird, other than the fact that somebody stubbornly refused to make it a nice rounded 3km? Because in a sprint, the distance usually hovers around 1.2km and the next longest race would be a 5km. Basically, I think the best way to approach it is to hammer around the course in a slightly controlled manner.
The course was pretty tough with a really long climb 2/3 through the race, and a super sketchy corner right after the hill so you had a lot of time to build up speed on the down before trying to pull a 90 degree right turn (or maybe it was more than 90? Certainly felt like it!) In practice the day before, I went down the hill 3 times and stayed upright for 2 of them. So I figured I had a 2/3 chance of staying up in the race. And while people bet on odds worse than that, I’m embarrassed to say that I totally chickened out and decided to check my speed by skidding the first part of the corner instead of stepping all the way around. And while that’s better than a full snowplow, I think I slowed myself down a little more than necessary. But that’s better than getting a whitewash!
I finished 3rd, behind Kikkan (1st) and Holly Brooks (2nd). Full results for this race and upcoming races can be found at Summit timing, linked here.
An interesting desctiption of the mini-tour can be found at fasterskier, linked here. But beware the comments found at the end of the articles; people love to say mean things when they can sign on anonymously!