Laurens van Vliet returned last week from the Masters World Cup Cross Country Skiing in Asiago, Italy.
“This was my third Masters World Cup competition, but my first time racing in Europe, where the world’s best skiers live. The competition was though, with 1250 athletes participating from 27 countries. For example, in my age group alone (60-64 years) there were up to 70 skiers competing,” he said.
Asiago is situated about 100 km NW of Venice, in the foothills of the Dolomite Mountains, adjacent to the Alps. Asiago is known for its cheese, and of course for its cross country skiing. This is a major cross country ski area in Europe, with hundreds of kilometers of groomed and track-set trails in open and slightly hilly terrain.
The views of small, quaint villages with the backdrop of the mountains is spectacular.
Laurens participated in three distances: the 10, 15, and 30 km races spread out over a week of competition.
“I had good snow and temperature conditions during my races, and my training paid off in personal best times on all three distances. I also met my objective of finishing the 30 km race under the two hours. All in all, I was very satisfied with my performance, and I much enjoyed the beautiful scenery.”
Prior to Asiago, Laurens had two races in B.C., one resulting in a second place podium finish. He has been doing his on-snow training in Manning Park Resort on their 25 km of track-set trails.
The staff at the Manning Park Nordic Centre has been very supportive during his training, and the grooming and track-setting at Manning has been excellent this year, he said.