Last week was the week of the Nordic tour. It consists of four world cup Races in Lahti, Trondheim and Oslo. All in one week. It was my first world cups this season. Unfortunately I was not in my best shape. Still not completely recovered from a week of illness after the races in Klingenthal. Result-wise it was disappointing, but overall a cool experience.
First time in Lahti, first time Trondheim has had nice weather four consecutive days and awesome weather and a lot of people watching the race in Holmenkollen.
Now that we are going into the last month of summer, its a good time to arrange the norwegian summer series. The first two competitions were held in Trondheim in the beginning of July. There we had one “normal” competition with jumping and cross-country on rollerskis, and one competition consisting of jumping and running. For my part, it was a somewhat disappointing weekend. Struggeling to find a good feeling at the jumps.
This weekend the third and fourth competitions in the summer series were held in Midtstuen near Holmenkollen in Oslo. As in Trondheim we had a normal competition on Saturday and jumpinging followed by an uphill running race (the dreaded “Sognsvannstesten”) on Sunday.
On saturday I was pretty excited to see if I could close in on the other guys in the jumping compared to the previous competitions. I had a pretty good jump and avoided bad luck with the wind, jumping to a start position in the middle of the pack at 9th. With legs that did not feel very good during the warm up for the XC-race, I decided to start out fairly controlled. Skiing the first two laps without beeing near my limit I found that I could keep the pace in the second half as well, although I was skiing without anybody in sight at that point. I suspected that the pain-train, consisting of Andre Nyeng Olsen, Truls Johansen and Ole Martin Storlien would catch up with me, but I managed to keep them at a safe distance, crossing the finish line alone to secure the 4th posistion. Magnus Moan won the race in an outstanding manner, in front of Thomas Kjelbotn and Magnus Krog. Very happy about my performance, stepping up my game since the previous competitions.
On sunday the conditions was as they often are in Midtstuen; a bit windy. This made the jumping competition fun, although someone naturally had more luck than others. I was not able to keep up my performance from Saturday, and ended up with a pretty mediocre jump with decent windconditions. Mediocre doesn’t get you very far, so I ended up in the bottom half after the jumping.
Sognsvannstesten is one of the hardest courses that I have run, starting at Sognsvann and finishing at Frognerseteren, above Holmenkollen. Total length is about 6,4 km, with a really decent amount of uphill after reaching the end of Sognsvann. Starting out far back my main goal was to beat my personal record from 4 years back at 31:20 min. I finally clocked in at 28:39 min. destroying my old personal best. I take this as a strong indication that I’m on the right track this summer. In the overall rankings I ended up in 8th position. Not too good, but not too bad either. After all the posistions are not that important (yet..) Mikko Kokslien won the race in front of Jørgen Graabak and Kollenhopps Harald Riiber who did a great competition jumping to 5th and finishing with the 5th fastest time in the race.