But in place of chain mail and morning stars there are carbonlites and spandex. The course is a tunnel of waving flags and appendages and strained vocal chords.
The Québec City sprint World Cup was one of the best experiences of my life to date.
photo credit: Motion360
On the start line getting ready to break the wand.
One thing that made the week in Québec amazing, is the lodging provided to Ian Murray and I by my girlfriend's cousins. They live right in Vieux Québec about a 5 minute walk from the race's start line. Pictured here is Ian Murray fiddling a ditty with Louisa on guitar. Louisa is but one of the cousins and lives across the backyard from where we were staying with another cousin. The house that we stayed in is one of the oldest houses in Québec City, built in 1793. Never has there been such a joyous and convenient lodging at a race. The weekly 20-person family dinners/jam sessions are something out of a movie.
The morning commute through the streets of old town Québec.
The start line beneath ancient stonework and crenellations.
Taking it all in on a training day.
Warming up for the skate sprint.
Navigating the sloppy and soft conditions of the 2-lap 750 meter man-made snow course. On my first lap I was a little startled by the 30,000 hollering spectators on course. I was able to snap out of it a bit on my second lap and skied strong in to the line.
photo cred: Motion360.
Rounding the corner into the finishing straight. On the day I was pretty stoked on my qualifier. I have never had that much fun cross country skiing! Next time I will know what to expect with the blaring racket of thousands of people.
For some more pictures that really capture the essence of Québec City this past weekend, check out Reese Hanneman's blog.
Thanks to all my sponsors and supporters who made this all possible!