Rosamund Musgrave climbed the podium as the Nordic World Ski Championships began in Italy and, while it was to collect flowers and not a medal, she’s adamant she can perform better than ever.
Musgrave was one of four British cross country skiers in action on the opening day in Val di Fiemme, joining Sarah Young in reaching Tuesday’s ladies’10km freestyle after a 5km qualification race.
The 26-year-old placed third in a time of 13:55.1minutes while Young just scraped through as the final qualifier in tenth with the former receiving a bouquet of flowers on the podium in Italy for her efforts.
She will now contest the ladies’ sprint on Friday, the first medal race of the Nordic World Ski Championships, with the team sprint and now the 10km freestyle completing her schedule in Val di Fiemme.
And, with her trip to the podium fresh in her mind, Musgrave, who attended the last World Championships in 2011 finishing an individual best of 50th in the 30km freestyle mass start, admits her confidence is sky high.
“It was nice to have the feeling of what it is like to be on the podium at a World Championships but obviously it was only a qualifying race,” Musgrave told Eurosport.
“It all went to plan, it was quite similar to Sarah in that I didn’t want to start too hard instead I wanted really build into the race.
“The hills are quite tough and I didn’t want to burn myself out too early. I managed to stick to that plan and it went well.
“My results have really come in this season and the big thing for me is that I have been much more consistent. I am generally better in the sprints and I am looking forward to them.
“I have decided three races is enough and I can focus on really having three good races rather than doing a larger programme.
“I had a really good training block and I was at altitude for three weeks before and I am confident that I have done as much to prepare as possible.”
Musgrave and Young were joined in competing on the opening day by Alex Standen and Callum Smith with the former advancing to the men’s 15km freestyle after placing eighth in the 10km qualification race.
Young has a year’s more of World Championship experience than Musgrave having skied in Liberec in 2009 and she admitted she couldn’t have asked for much more from her opening outing.
“It went pretty good, I had a plan to take it relaxed until the top of the climb and then really hammer the last bit of the course and it went pretty well,” Young told Eurosport.
“I felt pretty good, I had a little moment at the top of the hill where I was thinking ‘this is hard’ but I pulled it back and felt strong.
“I think it is pretty standard for a World Championship course, they are always quite hard. There are a lot of climbs and they are quite hard and it keeps going gradually.
“2011 was a bit of a tough year for me as I got viral fatigue after an illness and racing at the World Championships was an achievement for me.”
© Sportsbeat 2013