Lahti was bad. Kris had slippery skis. They had a decent layer of klister on them, but upon examination after the race it didn’t even look like they ever touched the snow. These are not monstrously stiff skis he as on - some of his easier kicking klister skis. But he was approaching the uphills with trepidation, and run-herringboning up stuff that other guys were striding up easily (or hard, more accurately).
Yesterday Kris sounded really good. His hard session the day before was still in his legs a bit, but he was feeling excellent skiing around. It’s really hard for him to know how he was feeling today - kind of like a deer on ice more than anything else. He worked hard - he fought the circumstances and blew himself up trying. He recovered and tried some more. And he lost time the whole way.
It’s impossible to know what to take away from this. He was coming from a position of stability - scoring points in every start since the bad finish of Period 1. He had a really easy week with one sharpening session coming off a period of consistent and conservative training - hardly a recipe for disaster. But somehow a day like today undermines any confidence in the preparation. For what it’s worth, Kris felt as though he would have / could have / should have been top-20 today, but probably not top 10. He wasn’t superman.
Next week is the Holmenkollen 50K skate. No need for anything crazy this week. Kris will spend a little time skiing early in the week, and then knock it back in the days leading up to Saturday’s race. Right now his confidence is shaken pretty hard. He doesn’t know what to expect from a 50K time trial. They don’t run those on the World Cup anymore (aside from Holmenkollen), so it’s become something of a specialty event. Time to wait another week…