Thursday and Friday, November 22nd en 23rd I started the first slalom races of the new ski season. The races where held in snowworld Landgraaf and we had a big field, 120 athletes from 25 countries.
Thursday I was a bit nervous, probably the demon of not finishing any of my previous slalom races in the IPC circuit. After a descent first run my nerves where mostly gone and I really enjoyed it again. First run I finished 4th with a 0,25 second lead over number 5 the Swiss girl that’s around the same level as I am, the podium was pretty far away with all World Cup racers ranked in the top 10, so fourth was the best I could do, it was winning for me.
After second run I was still sitting in 4th place but I had built out my lead to 0,82 seconds.
Because these where indoor races we had 3 runs to cover the minimum vertical drop needed to make this an official international race. After third run I finished the race in fourth place with a 1,75 second lead over number 5, this result earned me my first slalom points, 157,92 and this was an European Cup qualifying result (<240 points). I was so happy!
And Anna Jochemsen from the Netherlands won the race in the women standing category.
In the afternoon I watched the para-snowboarders who had a challenging indoor snowboard cross. And off course I had to prep my ski’s again because we had another slalom on Friday.
Friday I was a lot less nervous with nothing to lose I wanted to go all in and charge the course. First run was pretty good I started a lot more aggressive compared to Thursday.
I finished in 5th place after first run with a 1,5 second lead over the Swiss girl. One of the girls in front of me, also a top 10 ranked racer, was disqualified the day before for using a pole. If an athlete has an arm impaired which means he or she can’t hold a pole using a pole is not allowed, and she used a prosthetic with an attached pole pretty clever but illegal in her class.
Well second run was pretty difficult it was very icy and I struggled to stay in, I still finished in 5th place but I had given a second away. Third run again was icy and again I struggled to stay in so in the end the Swiss girl has beaten me, she earned it, she skied a lot better on the ice.
All though I off course wasn’t happy I gave away the 5th place it was a lot of fun and exciting to have a fight for 5th place. The race over all was exciting, the podium had changed over three runs and Anna won again. In the end I earned 186 points.
Over all the Dutch team with 14 athletes, national team and development team, had some very good results and it earned the coach a third place in the nations cup after Russia (1) and Germany (2).
The day ended with champagne for me to celebrate my results.
My next races are within 2 weeks in Pitztal Austria, I will have a GS and a Super Combined.