Mother Russia

Welcome to Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, where apparently the sun always shines, the wind always blows, and its always cold.  At least as far as I can tell. We’ve been here in Russia for a little over a week now, and everyday has been exactly the same.  Bright sunshine, and always a cold nasty wind coming of the Siberian tundra.  The tracks here are excellent though.  Though there are only about three significant climbs on the course, the lack of recovery in-between makes for a tough race course.  And of course, snow that never gets above -15C is always on the slow side.!

I’ve had three races in the past 4 days, with an off day today, and another race tomorrow.  The mixed relay on Thursday was a lot of fun.  Though the team finished 13th, we were hoping for a little better start to the Championships.  Personally though my race was not so bad, I felt excellent skiing, and it was nice to get a race in before the Sprint on Saturday.

For me the sprint race was by far the best one of the season.  I’ve struggled in sprints this year with shooting.  But on saturday I was able to combine good shooting with fast skiing to finish 26th.  26TH!!  Not only was it the best of the US men, it was my best finish ever on the WC.  The pursuit the day after was not quite as good, with 6 misses (out of 20) I fell back to 38th, but that was good enough for a few more WC points, so I can’t be to bummed.

Racing continues on Tuesday night with the 20km Individual race. This is more of a shooting race, so if I can have a good enough day on the range, I have a good shot at a top result… But thats why they have races.  Below are some pictures of the local area and the stadium, Enjoy!

Leif

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