European season underway!

After a very enjoyable, although brief taste of summer in Queenstown it was time for the very long set of flights back to Europe where we hit the ground running.  Off to the HEAD factory for some new gear before making our way to Adelboden for the first World Cup race of our season.

Adelboden is said to be the toughest hill in the world cup circuit with steep (60° pitch) and terrain – it was certainly very testing.  Fresh snow overnight with fog and snowing on the day of the giant slalom made for even more difficult conditions. Many athletes had riming on goggles which makes it even more testing. Started bib 65, unfortunately I didn’t make it to the finish line.

The slalom day was similar conditions, again bib 65 but I fell  inside so was a DNF.  It was great to catch up with some coaches from over the years; Tanja and Pascal who live and work in Adelboden and Yannick Bellon from Morgin, Switzerland, also Kyboi Wyssen – all from around ten years and more ago!

From Adelboden we headed on to Davos, Switzerland for a couple of Europa Cup giant slalom races, feeling pretty exhausted.  While I had some good skiing, I made too many mistakes so wasn’t happy.  Plenty of fresh snow. On the move again from Davos straight after the race with part of the journey including driving onto a train, on our way to home base near Saalfelden, Austria ready for a Europa Cup slalom at Zell am See the following day .

I felt I had some pretty good skiing and was really pleased to be able to take advantage of the yellow bib for a 32 start instead of 76.  Unfortunately missed the top 30 flip by 0.6 sec.

Back to base where we are now busy packing ready to head to the airport on our way to Korea which is going to be a new experience in many ways.

 

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First Europa Cup

We finally got into the racing side of things after all the postponed or cancelled races due to the lack of snow.  Started a series of slalom races in Garmisch, Germany unfortunately just 37 of 113 finished and I wasn’t one of the finishers. Team mate Mike Rishworth, myself and coach Nils Coberger then traveled on to Gaal, Austria for two more slaloms.  Day one I was pleased to put two good runs together and achieved a 2nd place podium result as well as making points (20.48)  Day two was one of the rougher Slaloms I’ve skied and wasn’t as successful, then it was on the road again to Turnau for two more slalom races.

Later today I will be racing in my first Europa Cup at Zell am See which should be quite the experience. It also happens to be a night race!

Gaal, Austria 13 Jan 2014 2nd place

podium Gaal, Austria 13 Jan 14

1. Filip Mlinsek 2. Myself 3. Paul Zimmermann

Gaal podium

Just the road crossing our race track.