The Team arrived into Austria from sunny Queenstown well after midnight 10th January and straight back into full swing, based about ten minutes drive out of Zell am See. Started with a short training day but the conditions weren’t the best with still a lack of snow. Fresh snow started that night and the following day, still snowing heavily, we went straight into our first race for the european season with a couple of slalom races at Hinterreit.
Really happy with my skiing, especially day two winning the second run and making points. Latest points list out and I am now 16.71 slalom and 16.45 giant slalom. The athlete area at Hinterreit is quite unique, sharing space with the hay bales and strong cow odour! Can see my second run on this link (videos on Team facebook page)
After Hinterreit we had a day off then trained the following morning before it was straight on to a couple of Europa Cup slalom races at Zell am See, the first being a night slalom. Picked up some new skis on our day off and started using them straight away. Unfortunately they were a bit stiffer than my previous ones and the first run was a very tight set! Really happy with the new HEAD skis, just need more time on them!
Following the races, we trained three days gs at Hinterreit and then I had a day training slalom with Henrik Kristoffersen and others on the Norwegian team – very tough icy course which I struggled on for a bit. It has been awhile since we’ve had ice to train on.
World Cup Slalom night race at Schladming, Austria! 26th January. Always a huge event. We were supposed to get a free run on the race hill the night before however this got cancelled. Rained heavily most of the night but cleared up for the race. Inspection was at 4.00pm bib start 80 for me and Willis with 81. Huge crowd of enthuastic fans around 45,000 all keen for their athletes to win with Marcel Hirscher, Felix Nuereuther and Henrik Kristoffersen the favourites. The course got pretty badly chopped up by the time I started, especially the top section. I was happy with the way I skied the top section however really over skied the bottom section. Marcel had goggle issues, coming 22nd and Felix was in top spot after first run. Marcel Hirscher put in the fastest 2nd run time coming 2nd overall unfortunately Felix DNF’d just before the finish so Henrik took out the win.
Many thanks to Juro Kristof for the video!
Back to training giant slalom at Hinterreit before travelling to Garmisch, Germany for the next race – World Cup Giant Slalom!