British team continue to battle warm conditions

The British team appeared to be fighting a loosing battle against the ski and snow gods in the second day of the Tour de Ski. Day 2 was a pursuit start also known as a hunting start, with athletes starting the time behind the winner they finished in yesterdays prologue. The snow conditions on day 1 were grim and day 2 looked no better, with soft tracks that were cut up very quickly. Waxing was clearly an issue with Roy Young tweeted “Hard work today. Could have done with an additional pair hands to get wax sorted but can’t complain about the work rate of the guys”.

In the women’s race Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) opened up a substantial lead of 41 seconds to take a comfortable race lead. Fiona Hughes worked hard all the way to the finish and looked to be struggling for glide on her skis in the finish straight but could not manage to improve on her position from yesterday. Indeed sadly her percentage behind the winner took a further hit and may fall out with the qualification standard for the next stage.

In the Men’s race a Russian trio did a lot of the work in the lead pack with Maxim Vylegzhanin taking the race lead and the two race favourites Petter Northug (NOR) Dario Cologne (SUI) coming home in 3rd and 4th. The British duo of Andrew Musgrave and Andrew Young started out in 65th and 66th and sadly lost places to come home in 87th place for Musgrave and 88th place for Young. Lots of skiers were struggling with Grip and Glide not least Petter Northug who looked to be struggling for grip for large parts of the course.

Tomorrow brings a rest day… although calling it a rest day is a bit misleading as the teams have to travel close to 600 miles and set up at a new venue, learnt he next track and test skis. Hopefully the snow conditions will be a bit more consistent and fairer to all competitors.

© Al Dargie 2012