Red Bull Crashed Ice champion Arttu Pihlainen blogs for Blades of Glory after progressing through from the Elimination Round in Are. Friday tends to be a tough day for the international skaters so the Finn, the fastest athlete in the Shoot Out, is now looking for somewhere to relax ahead of Saturday's final.
Here we are in Sweden and once again I'm Mr Time Trials! I always seem to be good at the time trials and in the Shoot Out but I like this track in Are. It seems like it could be better for me than the one in Valkenburg when I came seventh. I’m feeling confident about Saturday’s race.
It’s very different when you’re racing with four guys though. There's a lot more to think about. Sometimes it’s easier to skate second as you don’t have the air resistance. You don’t even have to skate, you can just glide behind the first man. It makes things a lot more difficult for the guy in front.
I’m not thinking too much about beating Kyle (Croxall). Yes, I need to win to stay in the championship but really all I’m thinking about is skating five clean races and hopefully when the final is done I will be the winner!
We're done with the Elimination Round for this evening so I'm thinking about going for something to eat in the square here in Are. There are so many cool places. I really like the atmosphere but Friday is always the toughest day for the international skaters with the training, the Shoot Out and then the Elimination Round so I don’t think I’ll be awake for too long!
When I get up tomorrow hopefully I’ll be fully refreshed and ready to go again. I'll have some breakfast, get some morning practice and then rest – that is my routine before a race.
Sometimes you can think about the competition too much – it makes more sense to relax and have a good time! I don’t see a lot of the guys here that often as we’re from different towns in Finland so you just want to spend some time with them.
As for the skaters here in Sweden, I think they're pretty good, possibly the best we’ve seen from the countries so far this year. I wish them well.
Redbullcrashedice.com has teamed up with the best ice cross downhill racers to get the inside track on the 2012 World Championship. Stay tuned for more updates throughout the season in the Blades of Glory blog.