USANS Women’s Nordic Combined Head Coach
Just Another Day at the Nordic Combined World Cup
Otepaa, Estonia Dec 11, 2021
The day started with the original schedule from the previous day: departure for jumping at 7:15 am to be ready for the trial round at 8:30 am for women. At 7:11 am teams get a message from the OC that the schedule for the day is changed because of the wind situation. It will now be a mass start XC race at 10:30 am for men and 12:00 pm for women. At 7:12 there is a little bit of chaos at the hotel when all the coaches are trying to wake up their wax techs. (The original plan was XC part starts at 4:30 pm for men’s and 5:30 pm for women’s, so the plan for wax techs was I breakfast at 9 am and leave to the venue at 10 am.) At this time you can hear in the hotel hall in multiple different languages “wake up, schedule just changed! We have mass start with start in 3 hours!!” Around 7:30 I’m leaving with wax techs to the XC venue to help with the skis and everything they will need to do in order to have skis ready for Taylor, Ben, and Stephen for the start at 10:30 am.
We are one of the first teams at the venue. Since the weather changed drastically from the previous day- the temperature moved from -20 C to light rain and +1 C- wax techs didn’t test any skis or wax the previous day because we knew that warm weather was coming.
We are starting to sort powder wax for the first (and probably only) test what we will have time for. Tomas and Lukas picked 12 powder options and 10 hand structures and we are preparing test skis. Around 8:45 am techs are going for a ski test. I’m staying in the cabin and scraping race skis for testing- 15 pairs with a couple of different grinds. Right when I’m done it’s time to run to the test area with race skis and grab some test skis back to the wax cabin and re-wax them with some new powder options for another quick test. Tomas and Lukas are ready with all testing 45 minutes before the start. How they said ‘’we have plenty of time.”
Skis are ready for Gilbo who delivers skis and start bibs for the athletes to the start 10 minutes before the start.
During the time when Tomas and Lukas worked on skis for Taylor, Ben, and Stephen, I have time to test skis for Annika. Picking the best pair from 4 pairs of her skis for these conditions and techs are able to put powder on Annika’s skis before the men’s race start.
5 minutes before the men’s start, Annika arrived at the XC venue. She’s got some updates about conditions on the course and still some time for her warming up, and it’s time to cheer for Taylor, Ben, and Stephen.
Skis looked great during the race and Taylor finished 12th 5.9 seconds behind the winner, Stephen 28th, and Ben 33rd. After the men’s race, it’s time for Annika to get ready and to get some advice from Taylor, Ben, and Stephen before her start.
Annika finished 10th 19.8 seconds behind the fastest woman. It’s 12:30 pm. and now it is time for Tomas and Lukas to eat something for breakfast.
The XC part is done and Annika has less than an hour and a half to the official jump training round. Jumping goes how it was scheduled in the morning without any other delays. Competitions are done at 6 pm.
After the jumping part Taylor took 20th place overall, Ben 25th, Stephen 39th, and Annika 12th.
After all this long day, I’m happy that we have a great team and that our team runs well also in these stressful situations like we had this year in Otepaa, Estonia.
Thanks to our wax techs Tomas and Lukas, Nick and Gilbo!
Tomas Matura – December 20th, 2021