I showed up at Birch Hill ski area with an hour and a half to start. Plenty of time to warm up and test skis! The last few days I've been feeling a little under the weather and I'm still experiencing some jet lag from my Europe trip (10 hour time difference). Therefore I started my warm up pretty slow, making sure I skied relaxed and easy.
Fabien had prepared two pairs of skis for me and I needed to pick one pair for race wax. Both skis felt ok, but one pair was definitely faster so I gave them back for the final touch. Our race wax included Swix HF4BW covered by FC7 mixed with LF3 for the glide. For kick we used V20 mixed with V30 as a base and VR45 mixed with VR40 on top.
Since we only skied 5 km today I wanted to make sure I started hard. Sometimes I have a hard time starting fast and I was worried I would loose time in the first kilometer. I had a late start so I could watch the other girls leave the start gate and I was getting both nervous and anxious to get my race going. A few last thoughts popped into my mind; "do I have enough kick;" "did I warm up enough."
Once on the course all of these thoughts disappeared. The skis were working great and I was concentrating on tempo. About two kilometer into the race I got my first split, in the lead by 12 seconds. Yes, I had started fast! I was able to relax and concentrate fully on my skiing. I finished strong and I finally won the US Nationals race!
Saab Salomon's Strandberg has now won 8 USSA SuperTours and has clinched the 2009 SuperTour Overall, Distance and Sprint Cup titles.
Strandberg's teammate Kristina Trygstad placed 10th.