The 7th and 8th ski cross World Cups of the season were held this weekend in Goetschen, Germany.
I was feeling less than ideal for Friday’s qualification race. A few days earlier I came down with a bad head cold; something I couldn’t seem to shake off. I finished a disappointing 18th, just 0.1 of a second from qualifying in the top 16 for finals. The only positive I could take from this was having one extra day to rest and recover, and get healthy for the second World Cup held on Sunday.
Yesterday I had my best ever qualifying result on World Cup. I qualified in fifth place, just 0.63 of a second behind the leader (a massive improvement from over two seconds behind in the qualification race on Friday!) I was extremely happy with how I skied and where I was placed, and finally a boost of confidence and adrenaline reminded me why I love competing, and why I love this sport.
(The Aussies: Scott Kneller, Brooke Dunleavy, Sami Kennedy Sim and myself)
(Excited after qualifyng in 5th)
For finals, my first quarter final heat included Marielle Thompson of Canada, Hedda Berntsen of Norway and Andrea Limbacher of Austria. All three have won World Cups, with Limbacher still overjoyed from her first World Cup victory yesterday. I had an average start, but made a good come back over the first roller section and jumped into third place. I fought the entire way down, trying to make a pass into second, and got very close a few times. The conditions were tough; soft and extremely bumpy. I just couldn’t manage to quite pull off the pass. I was happy with how I skied, and although I couldn’t match my 5th place in qualifications, I finished up in 10th overall. This is my second best result ever on World Cup, and my second top 10 World Cup result of the season. I am now placed 17th place in the overall World Cup rankings, currently one spot better than I finished last year. There are still three World Cups to go until the end of the season, so hopefully a few good results can push me up in the rankings.
(Talk about a splash of colour! Noriko Fukushima and I)
I am now on my way up to Sweden where I will race in the next World Cup event in Branäs. Hopefully this momentum from Germany will continue up in Sweden, and I can produce another personal best result.
(Cows up on the training hill in Austria)
(Antonio in fine form)