Scando Re­port

SkiTrax - - Contents - By Sjur Røthe

by Sjur Røthe

Last sea­son was a roller­coaster for me. The start was good, as I was twice on the podium in my sec­ond home of Lille­ham­mer, Nor­way. It was a great feel­ing to be in such good shape early in the sea­son and es­pe­cially to be in the tracks of the 1994 Olympics.

But the races that fol­lowed were not very good and I started to lose my self-con­fi­dence. I was won­der­ing if I was in bad shape or if I had been in top shape too early. Af­ter a good talk with my team­mates and my coach, I de­cided to start the Tour de Ski – even though my orig­i­nal plan was to go all in for the World Cham­pi­onships in Falun, Swe­den. I got sick right af­ter the Tour started and this forced me to re­turn home for some rest and to start the prepa­ra­tion for the World Cham­pi­onships in­stead of fight­ing to win the Tour.

To com­pete at the World Cham­pi­onships in Falun was very cool, but I was not there only to take part – I was mo­ti­vated to fight for the medals. My big­gest chance to earn a spot on the fi­nal podium was in the 15km skate. Af­ter a re­ally tough race, I fin­ished ninth. Un­for­tu­nately, that was not good enough to make the Nor­we­gian re­lay team. I re­turned home to Nor­way af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing Cham­pi­onship with my back caus­ing me quite a lot of pain and re­sults that were far from what I had hoped. Still, this re­ally mo­ti­vated me to show my po­ten­tial in the fi­nal races of the year.

The best day in my ski­ing ca­reer came on March 14. I had done a re­ally good job of train­ing and worked ex­tremely hard for many hours. I was at my limit and told my waxer, “I'm go­ing all in for the 50K in Hol­menkollen.” I have never trained so much dur­ing the win­ter, and to be hon­est, I was a lit­tle bit ner­vous that it was too much.

Dur­ing the race, I had a good feel­ing. I was in the top 10 for al­most the en­tire race and I made it clear that I was there to fight for the vic­tory. In the fi­nal climb up to Frogn­er­seteren, there were only few guys left. My op­por­tu­nity had ar­rived! I made sure to get a good spot in the last few kilo­me­tres. I had one goal in sight, and that was to be first into the last 200 me­tres. My legs felt like logs, but I made it. I was the first to cross the fin­ish line – only four small cen­time­tres ahead of Dario Cologna (SUI). My team­mate, Mar­tin John­srud Sundby, was third.

That was by far the great­est day in my ski­ing ca­reer. The vic­tory in Hol­menkollen has mo­ti­vated me to train well for the com­ing sea­son. To cross the fin­ish line as No. 1 was a great feel­ing, one that I re­ally hope to ex­pe­ri­ence again this win­ter.

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