manssonThe World Cup Final in Prague was the big goal of the international autumn season for me. But in the end, it was one big disappointment, as I already crashed at the first competition and didn't manage to turn the tables until the end of the competition week... 

At the knock-out sprint, I started with a solid qualification and was looking forward to fight hard in the quarterfinals. But at the second last control of the quarterfinal, I had a fashionable crash with a handrail and the day ended with a laceration as well as a blue and swollen eye. 
stefan mansson IMG 4771
The next day during the morning run, it went surprisingly well with my eye and I decided to run the last leg for SUI3 at the sprint relay with some protection glasses. Thanks to my teammates Paula, Chrigi and Joey my starting position was awesome and I had the chance to fight for the (inofficial) podium. It was such a cool fight and I really had a lot of fun running the last leg. In the end we got 4th, after SUI1 (1.) and SUI2 (3.), which was a great Swiss team performance!

The Swiss team performance during the next night was then not so impressive anymore, as many of us suffered from a diarrhea-virus. I almost didn't sleep at all during the night and felt accordingly at the middle distance the next day... In addition, I was technically quite overstrained with the tricky controls in the sandstones-terrain and didn't really know how to solve the routechoice problems... It's such a pity that I couldn't enjoy the fantastic terrain there but instead only felt terrible during all the steep uphills and being trapped in between the rock towers. 

The last day was the sprint day and I tried to find the focus again, but already failed before the start, as I forgot to clear and check my SI-Air... I realized it during the beginning of the race, as I had to punch all the controls and then the already not so high concentration was totally gone... 

So now I think it's definitely time to empty my overfull hard disk and enjoy the offseason! But before I definitely dive into the season break, I would like to THANK everyone, who supported me in some way during the season! Be it as a boyfriend, a family member, a sponsor, a friend, a fan, a coach or as a team member! THANK YOU, it means the world to me! 

Photos: Stefan Mansson, Tomas Bubela