Today marked the “unofficial” opening of the winter season – at least in my mind. It wasn’t the World Cup Opener; that’ll have to wait until next week. Instead, Norway kicked off the 2015/16 winter season with the first of two races here in Sjusjoen. This wasn’t your average pre-season time-trial. The Norwegian, German, French and many other nations were here, complete with full wax teams, coaching staffs, and the “Big Rig” wax trucks which have become the norm on the International circuit these past few years. NRK (Norwegian Television) broadcast the entire race live to a primetime audience throughout Norway. I guess we have a little ways to go before we’re broadcasting our pre-season time trials on NBC saturday afternoons in the USA… but hey, I’d rather watch biathlon than just about any other thing on TV!
After four days on snow, I was less than perfectly comfortable on skis, but I was happy with the ski speed and felt like the race went reasonably well. I did struggle in standing, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Leif is going to jump in the Mass Start tomorrow while the rest of the team will take a rest day and begin the final preparation for the World Cup start in Ostersund next week.
Perhaps the biggest news of the day was the US debut of the new World Cup race uniforms. Bold… yes. Beautiful? Well, I’ll leave that up to the fans to decide! Let the comments begin!