I’ve heard so many stories about Lillehammer, it was nice to finally visit the nordic skiing mecca. My experience was similar to some of the others I have heard, great ski trails and great food. We were in Lillehammer for only 6 days and of those 6 days we were racing 3, so I actually didn’t get to explore the area as much as I would have liked to.
The city is next to a huge lake, lake Mjøsa. I'ts actually the biggest lake in Norway although it isn't very wide across. There is a bridge right out of town and the picture below is taken from that bridge.
As you can see from the picture Lillehammer is on a hill. The race venue was somewhere near the top and we were staying at a nice hotel about half way up the hill. It was just a short walk from the hotel down to town and I was able to make it down there a couple of times. There was a street that was blocked off to vehicles and lined with stores. The town was pretty well dressed with Christmas decorations, it was super pretty and it definitely got me in the christmas spirit. Norway tends to be a pretty expensive place so I kept most of my money in my pocket and just enjoyed the views.
The venue was spectacular! The trails were wide, the tracks were hard, and the fans were loud! It was hard not to have a fun time skiing out there. I also like hills, and this course had plenty of them. The race track felt like a mix between screaming fast downhills and steady uphills. On a course like this it’s important to feel fit or your going to loose a lot of time, really fast. Luckily I feel like my fitness has been steadily coming up the last few weeks and I was at a good spot this weeekend, so I was very happy with my results.
The races were set up in a Mini Tour format, it was my first ever tour race on the World Cup. I really enjoy this type of format. We had three races in a row and the last day is a pursuit start. A pursuit start is when they start all the competitors based on their time back from the leaders in the previous races. I started 1 minute and 45 seconds back from the leader and in 53rd place.
I climbed a few spots the last day and ended up finishing the tour in 39th place. I put together three races that I was pretty happy with and I can honestly say I had a TON of fun! Of course I would have loved to win, but I have not put in the time yet. As my boy Macklemore says, it takes 10,000 hours…. according to my calculations I should be able to win in a couple years :)
Thanks for reading and for all your support! Now I'm in beautiful Davos, Switzerland. It's nice to be a little closer to the equator, little more sun down here.