Europe October 2017

We arrived to a very spring looking Europe with a lot of green!  First race of the season on our programme listed as World Cup GS, Sölden Austria.  Training got under way and we got time on the race piste which was invaluable.  Starts with a bit of a flatter section then most of the course goes to a pitch around 65 degrees then flattens out again at the finish.  As described on the official Sölden website: – the superb slope features a different shape every year. It’s easy to explain: the race track is built on glacier ice which moves permanently. Especially in its lower part, the slope has become steeper and steeper over the last years – as if a 65% gradient wasn’t enough!

We also trained on the piste beside the race area (called The Icebox – with good reason!) and got some more great training.  The World Cup race was cancelled due to blizzard conditions so we packed up and got ready to head on to Colorado for the next training block.  Was great to pick up some new skis from HEAD as well.

Solden wind

Blizzard conditions race day at Soelden

After a few delays with flights (mechanical problems, re-routing) we finally arrived into Denver start of November on to home base for the next month in Dillon.  Training has started at Copper Mountain and it’s incredibly tiring at the moment getting into the new time zone as well as coping with the high altitude (approx 12,300ft – 3,750m)

Big thank you to Skeggs Foundation for their funding support, always appreciated! Now we will concentrate on the next training block before the NorAm races at Copper Mountain and Vail followed by the World Cup at Beaver Creek.

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Racing In The States

adam dillon             dillon

Since arriving in Dillon we’ve had good snow, cold temperatures and a lot of excellent training, joining in with a number of international athletes.  Our first races for the season were at Echo Mountain, CO (see results on link) with two slalom races and a large field of 120 international athletes. I managed to put in a really good first run coming in .42 seconds ahead of the field.  The snow was a bit soft on top but a good layer underneath and I was really pleased to finish the second run well keeping me in first place ahead of Robbie Kelley in second and Ola Buer Johansen, Norway in third . It’s an awesome way to start the season – with a podium and my best points result in slalom of 15.08!  Day two was a similar field but I wasn’t quite as fast, coming in 3rd after Robbie Kelly 1st and Marco Reymond, Switzerland 2nd.

echo mountain 1st sl 22 Nov 2015

Echo Mt with Robbie Kelley 2nd, Ola Buer Johansen 3rd

From Echo Mountain the races moved on to Snow King, Jackson WY for the NorAM slalom races, ten athletes under 10 points!  The course was incredibly slick on the bottom half where the watering crew got a bit carried away.  On day one, I put in a good first run moving from start 26 down to 11, unfortunately I broke a gate which fell down in front of me in the second run which wrecked my rhythm, coming out lower down.  Day two I moved a bit too laterally, hip checked and came out – less than one third of the field managed to stay in on day two.

slalom race course snowking (2)

Slalom Course inspection – SnowKing

Back to Dillon for two giant slalom NorAM’s at Copper Mountain, CO 30 Nov and 1 Dec with another large field of top athletes including number 5 in the world, Fritz Dopher plus 24 athletes under 10 points. The race course was quite aggressive man made snow. Day one starting bib 55 I had a good first run putting me into 22, unfortunately with a few tough turns in the 2nd run I dropped back to 30.  Day two I made a few errors in the first run, where I drifted in to the top of the turn on some turns so missed making the flip but had a cleaner second run coming 18th putting me in 28th position.  USA athlete Tommy Ford took out the win on both days.

Couple of images below from Jackson, Wyoming with the Main Street and antler arches!

antler arch      main street jackson (2)

Next up was a Super G at Copper Mountain where I managed to move up a little from start 21 finishing 12th and making a few points, 44.28 but we skipped the second day of SG racing to get in some giant slalom training at Vail before the World Cup.  Had a really good session doing timed runs with some of the German team including Fritz Dopfer and Felix Neureuther, and managed some very respectable times. Beaver Creek WC GS I finished off the racing in the States with my first World Cup Giant Slalom race on Birds of Prey, Beaver Creek.  (photo inspection time looking up from the finish) It was a pretty tough long course with a number of the top athletes not finishing, including Ted Ligety.  I started bib 63 and managed to finish in 49th place, 1.21.34 unfortunately I made a mistake near the top just before the flats so lost speed!  Only top 30 get to do the second run so it was time to finish packing and head to Denver to catch the evening flight to Calgary.  Arrived into Lake Louise after midnight where we will be based for five days for the NorAM speed events before heading to Panorama.  It is currently snowing and team mate Willis is battling the elements as they attempt to get the men’s training run for the Downhill done .

World Cup GS Finish

World Cup GS Finish

World Ski Champs 2015

CTOS LOGOMany thanks to Community Trust of Southland for their continued support of my racing career – CTOS are an amazing team who support a wide range of activities across the community, including Sport.  This year they have helped towards one of my goals of racing at the World Ski Championships held at Beaver Creek, Colorado 2nd to 15th February.

Adam super g

Following on from my previous post, after leaving Eldora we were lucky enough to stay with a kiwi family in Edwards (many thanks to Kathy & Brett Derwin for your hospitality) for a week of training at Vail before moving into our accommodation at Beaver Creek for the World Ski Championships.

Super G postponed due to bad weather

Super G postponed due to bad weather

It was a very intense couple of weeks starting with the men’s super g which was postponed a day due to bad weather.  This was my first experience racing Super G at this level and on the “Birds of Prey” course which is considered one of the toughest race hills in the world but I really enjoyed it. The start was a really steep drop into the course on a slick surface. My skiing was fairly solid for the most part. Over skied it a little bit but my goals for the race were more about technique and experience than anything. Starting bib 57, I was pleased to finish and place 44.

It was quite draining having to race the qualification races with the high intensity of needing to qualify, on top of the high altitude and long courses and then race again the following day in the main event.  Four days in a row starting with the Giant Slalom. For the slalom qualifying race, I had the fastest second time which I was pretty happy about after a slow first run.  In the last race of the WSC I was skiing well but had a DNF in the first run of the slalom – super tough course, 73 gates of steep and icy and the snow started to fall fairly heavily.  Before the snow, the weather had been particularly warm with almost spring like conditions. It was a tough WSC set of races, but I will take away some valuable experiences as we continue with our training and races in Europe.      Enjoy a few images from the races.

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Opening Ceremony with the kiwi flag.      Qualification GS course at Golden Peak

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Course set by Nils Coberger.       Course inspection on Birds of Prey

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Looking down into the stadium at Red Tail, Beaver Creek

wsc

Waiting in the finish area for the top 25 athletes – qualification criteria

Training Vail

Training in Vail

dirty dog sunglasses

Took a little time out from training while we were at Vail to do a bit of a photo shoot for Dirty Dog Sunglasses – had a lot of fun with some great weather and snow conditions.

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And this was our ride while in Colorado