British Championships

On Sunday a team of junior skiers and JC drove to Ruhpolding in Germany from our base in Seefeld for the British Championships.

The team consisted of Dyllan Harmer, Hamish Roberts, Nick Montgomery and Alasdair Tutt. The foremost was racing the open men’s 10km and the latter were all racing the junior race over 7.5km.

The weather was drizzly and dark, or as put by some “perfectly British.” with a lot of very wet, soft, new snow on the 3.3-3.7km loop. The first off were Hamish, Nick and Alasdair in the 7.5km Freestyle. Due to our not racing Saturday’s classic we were seeded in the last 3 places of the field of 65. The start line was full of giggles as we dreamt of how to pass the much slower skiers in front. Off the start Hamish had the fastest lane and managed to escape without as much hassle as Nick and Alasdair, who were solidly boxed in. After an attempt to pass the pack on the 30cm wide track on the edge Alasdair found himself face first in the snow bank. Nick was boxed in until the top of the second hill about 400m in, after losing a minute to the leader and Hamish about 20seconds further up.

Over the two laps there was much overtaking as the Aussies flew past snow plowing Brits on all the relatively steep, but straight and short downhills. The solid centre of the track made overtaking very hard on the uphills leaving only the major transitions and flats for easy overtaking.

The final results were Nick in 2nd overall, Hamish in 4th and Alasdair in 7th all within 2 minutes of the winner. Who knows what might have happened had our starting positions been different.

Dyllan was next up with an equally poor ranking and working his way up through the field over the 3 laps skiing smoothly and all out to end up in 11th, animpressive result given the biathletes and the cream of British Nordic skiers competing. The eventual winner was Simon Platt, apparently the first civilian to win a British title.

Our little team was joined at the race by fellow Aussies: Irene Dunn, Jill Colebourn, Jeremy Flanagan and Tim Flanagan. They all raced strongly and joined in the chorus of unfortunate, yet hilarious tales from the days racing over hot chocolate.

A big thank you to JC for driving us to and from Ruhpolding and for spending the previous evening and that morning waxing all our skis.

For more reports from the Australian Junior XC Team travelling overseas see this WordPress site.

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