Today was a bad race for Kris. In truth, it looks very much like the effort he had last weekend here. His margins behind the guys who beat him last week were about the same - but those guys were 35 seconds behind Teichman, and the field was incredibly tight. Kris was 50th place with something like 37 FIS points.
Today there was no issue with going too hard and blowing up. Blood sugar was perfect. He was just missing the top couple of gears. He looked strong and smooth the whole way - just the way he planned to ski the first lap. But he simply lacked the energy to accelerate. He had opportunities, mind you. Anders Soedergren (who finished third) started just as Kris came around for his first lap. Kris was able to hang with him for about 3/4 of a KM of downhill, and then Soedergren just skied away. The only guy Kris really skied with all day was a Russian who he caught for 30 seconds.
Skis didn’t appear to be a problem. Kris was on a pair with an alarmingly aggressive grind, but they’ve been his best since he got here. He didn’t have much opportunity to compare ski speed with anybody (aside from that Russian guy who had really bad skis) because he simply couldn’t keep up with the red group guys who passed him.
Kris got very tired early in the week. The four days leading up to today’s race were quite easy, and he’s been feeling better and better. But he’s pretty sure he’s been fighting a virus. He’s been winning the fight - just minor congestion on a couple of occasions. I didn’t expect a miracle today, but I hoped for better than what we saw. It not satisfactory to say that he’s tired, or maybe a little sick. But until we get some more information it’s all we’ve got to go on.
Every time Kris has gotten close to the edge this year it’s taken him a couple of weeks of conservative training to be feeling better. So far he’s had four days, and then a race. This next week will not be hard. Kuusamo might be a bit early to expect really good result if he’s as run-down as the results seem to suggest But we should see an improvement, and Davos, the following weekend, could be much better.
Reprinted with permission from the Kris Freeman website at http://www.krisfreeman.net/. Copyright © Zach Caldwell and Kris Freeman