Aspen GS Course
After some good training at both Copper Mountain and Vail to kick off the season, and finally some snow, races have begun. With snow conditions in Europe not the best and World Cup races in the States, there is a large number of Europeans training and racing here, so the first at Echo Mountain (a night slalom) was a stacked field. These races were quickly followed by the first of the NorAm series, again with an incredible field of top athletes. Snow conditions were rough and icy for the giant slalom at Aspen. I started bib 57 and couldn’t quite find my rhythm on a very tiring course. Unfortunately, I didn’t complete both runs. We then travelled back to Dillon for the slalom races at Copper Mountain where the chalky snow conditions created challenging grooves and fell apart quickly. I was really pleased to have won the yellow bib from the ANC series as it meant a 31 start in a world cup field of athletes including Sweden’s Mattias Hargin on 2.8 points and ranked 4th in the World! Day one didn’t go quite as hoped with a few mistakes which cost me dearly however I had a better second run. Day two was a much better day and I had the 3rd fastest time in the second run; I was happy to finish 15th overall.
The Team. Fresh snow at Copper 26 November 2014
Just arrived in Canada for some more races with the first for me being a slalom at Norquay (6th Dec) where I took out first place. Several more races and then the NorAm circuit continues to Panorama, Canada, from Dec. 13 – 20 where there will be one super combined, two slalom, two GS, and two super G races.
Week one, Dillon
We have been in Colorado two weeks now and training has been going well. We arrived to very little snow which has meant a variety of start times to get our turn on snow along with all the other teams currently at Copper Mountain. Some mornings we’ve been up at 4.45am for a 6.30am start while other days it’s been around 2.00pm. Even though there is little snow, our training area has been very good. It has also taken a bit of time getting used to skiing at altitude (12,330 feet / 3750m at Copper). A few days ago we had our first snow storm arrive which was very welcome, although made for some frosty training.
I have been training predominately slalom and while it is early in the season, feel I am making some progress. Managed to sprain my thumb in the first week while skiing through ruts but fortunately it hasn’t stopped my training. Today we were supposed to have our first gs session but it has just been cancelled due to snow and lane space issues.
Very lucky to have the HEAD technician working on my new boots, getting them fitted this week.
Boot fitting – Thanks HEAD
Another beautiful day
The first races of the season began today with a busy day, two FIS men’s super combi races at Copper Mountain. Really long day with the Super G inspection starting at 7.00am for the first race starting at 8.00am on the U.S. Ski Team Speed track. With blue sky and good snow conditions it felt great to be racing again. Second run super g went better unfortunately still not fast enough to make the flip for the slalom runs.
US Ski Team photo of the super g course, Copper Mountain
The slalom section of the races got under way at 2.15pm with the final race run not finishing until 4.00pm. They went reasonably well for me I just need to let it run a little more, especially on the grippy surface. Staying hydrated and getting plenty to eat was a big part to maintaining energy and focus throughout the day.
Finish area for all races – this from the 2nd slalom run 10th November.
Also like to say a big thank you to Skeggs Foundation for their continued support. They do a fantastic job in helping athletes in the Otago area.