It’s nice to be on vacation! I will take about a month off of training to let my body rest and recover and to ensure that I’m ready for a long training season and a full winter of racing. I need to be well rested because, if all goes according to plan, I will have 29 World Cup starts next season, significantly more than I’ve ever had before. Because there isn’t a World Championships or an Olympics next year, there will be two long tours during the World Cup season. The Tour de Ski, beginning the first day of January, will consist of eight stages, one more than normal. Then, the new Ski Tour Canada will be the last event of the season; it will be another eight day tour beginning on the first day of March. I am very excited about so many race opportunities, and I believe it will be a great season for me.
I want to encourage everybody to put a couple of stages of Ski Tour Canada on their calendars and to come watch the races and support me and my teammates. It is a huge opportunity for us to have World Cup races in North America, and I know that spectators will have a great time. World Cup racing is unlike any other racing that happens on this continent. Here’s a look at the tour:
- The 1st stage is a skate sprint on Tuesday, March 1st in Gatineau, a suburb of Ottawa but on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River.
- The 2nd stage is a 22 kilometer mass start classic race on Wednesday, March 2nd in Montreal, two hours from Gatineau.
- From Montreal we’ll continue east to Québec City. Stage 3 will be another skate sprint on Friday, March 4th.
- We’ll remain in Québec City for stage 4, a 15 kilometer pursuit start skate race on Saturday, March 5th.
- At the halfway point of the tour we’ll fly all the way out to Alberta. I heard they are going to charter a direct flight for the athletes. Stages 5, 6 and 8 will all be at the incredible Canmore Nordic Centre in Canmore, Alberta, about an hour and fifteen minutes outside of Calgary. Stage 5 will be a classic sprint on Tuesday, March 8th.
- Stage 6 will be a skiathlon on Wednesday, March 9th. Generally skiathlons are 30 kilometers long (15km classic+15km skate).
- For stage 7 we’ll drive an hour northwest from Canmore to Lake Louise for a 20 kilometer classic race on Friday, March 11th.
- The final day of the tour, stage 8, will be a 15 kilometer pursuit start skate race back in Canmore on Saturday, March 12th.
I hope you can make it to one or more of the races! The full World Cup calendar for next year (and all the way through the 2018-19 season) is here.
I’ve been enjoying my first couple days of vacation. Yesterday Emilia and I chilled in Denver. We rode bikes around the park near Emilia’s parents’ house.