Andrea Dupont

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Who would have known that one weekend of trials could contain all these…Saturday was unbelievably good! I could not have asked for my first day of trials to go any better. I may have skied a little too reserved in the qualifier because training on the course during the previous week had taught me alot of respect for the toughness of the course. But I knew that only the final position mattered for trials and focused on skiing well in the heats.

The heats went off almost flawlessly. I was able to easily advance in my Quarter and Semi-finals without too much effort with lots left in the tank for the final.

The final had Dasha ahead and Madelaine, Rhonda and myself climbing the final hill together. As I crested the hill slightly behind Madelaine and Rhonda, I knew all I had to do was be in contact with them on the downhill and that I could pass them in the finishing stretch, because although they are stronger climbers I am a much stronger double poler. So I tucked in behind Rhonda on the downhill unfortunately we’d lost contact with Madelaine. I was able to sling shot past Rhonda and almost catch Madelaine in the finishing stretch. I finished happily in third, knowing it was one spot off of an Olympic spot, but knowing that the next day I had a chance to try again.

Sunday was very similar, but not quite as good. I had a slow qualifier but felt stronger in the heats, only this time the same top girls that were in the final the previous day met in my Semi-final. Dasha, Shayla, Madelaine and myself, all lined up for one stacked heat. Again when I crested the final hill I was behind Madelaine, only this time I remained in contact. Dasha and Shayla were out front. I was completely relaxed going into the downhill knowing that I was close enough to draft Madelaine and should have an advantage going into the finishing stretch. Somehow I skied the corner a little wide and lost the draft. And then to top it all off my skis were slower so, as we both tucked the downhill, I watched her slowing gaining ground. The best double poler in the world could not have made up the ground lost on the downhill. This put me in 4th in the semi-final and demoted me to the B final.

And this is where the ugly too place. I was disappointed not making the A final but also pretty fired up and determined to dominate the B final. Then less than 100m into the race one of my competitors cut across 2 lanes to cut me off and trip me. She was later disqualified, but in a sprint if you fall the race is over.

This was a tough way to end trials. You really want to go out with a fight, not with a face plant!

So now the focus shifts to peaking for the Canmore World Cups in February 2010, with a classic sprint on a course that I now feel super confident on.

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