Last week in Sapporo was the best result in 2 years with my third place finish. Standing on the podium is a feeling that will only get better the more I do it! The joy that I felt was raised quite a lot considering the day before I was well off the pace finishing 24th after a far from satisfactory jump. My jump was significantly better then the day before and it had power and speed and some good wind which allowed me to fly 123 meters and put me in a great position for the race.
I went into the race and new exactly what I needed to do. I had Bryan right in front of me which allowed me to start hard but then really settle in and start to increase the pace. I sat behind my brother for most of the 1st lap before I really started to increase the pace. At 5 kilometers we had already caught the group containing 5th place and the leaders were another 15 seconds ahead but I was closing in quicker then I thought and wasn't feeling tired. Our group ended up catching the leaders on that lap and I was able to sit and a take a breather for a little while. Going up the first hill, I remembered what works best for me when it comes down beating everyone, and that was going "ugly early". I will admit that it may not be the best phrase, but in honestly when I go hard earlier, a lot of the skiers wont be able to hang with the pace and fall off. So on the first hill of the last lap I went really hard like a cycling attack. As I got to the top I noticed I had only 2 other athletes with me, Akito Watabe and World Cup leader Eric Frenzel. I continued to push the pace in hopes to drop them on the next set of hills but wasn't able and they were just a little stronger then I was. I have uploaded the race and you can view it below.
So tomorrow is the last competition in Predazzo/Val Di Fiemme and I am feeling much better. I had a better day on the jump hill, but still wasn't going to race so I could be as close to 100% for tomorrow to have another chance to repeat my performance from Sapporo.