Feel free to reply to my thoughts, experiences, and whatever comes out of this head of mine. blah blah blah

Friday, January 29, 2010

Goin to the Games!

I made the Olympic team! Im pretty fired up right now! I came into the season with no expectations and not really thinking I was going to make the team because of the depth of our Downhill squad. My season started off slow but it has been picking up as it goes on and my knees have been feeling better and better. I feel like I have a lot better muscle control and strength.

I last wrote about Val Gardena and Bormio. Since then I have raced the two biggest races of the season, Wengen and Kitzbuhel! These two races attract over 50,000 people each. There is a wild energy in the air and there is so much history in those races. I enjoy seeing the history of them and the progression the sport has seen over the years.
Wengen was looking to be a break through for me. I had a couple good training runs placing 14th and 9th. And on race day I had a couple big mistakes and ended up 21st. But I was pleased with my performance. I had some good splits and glimpses of greatness.
Then came Kitzbuhel. Kitz is the most intimidating course on tour. Right out of the gate you hit 50mph within 3 seconds and are hitting big jumps compressions and long fallaways all within the first 30 seconds. Then you hit a flat cat track and just glide for 15 seconds followed but a big jump then you get right back into the action again. Twisting, turning, and jumping until you hit the Hausberg! The Hausberg is covered by a big Red bull arch and you launch off of that onto the final sidehill into the finish where 50,000 people are waiting. This final section is the most intimidating part of the race. You are carrying massive speed into a compression turn that then launches you into the side hill. It takes guts to ski well and fast here.
This year I was 24th here which was disappointing but I was happy with my splits. I was fast in the tough sections. 5th on the bottom and 11th up top so I was happy with that and i had some fast speed traps.
I am now home. Trying to kick a head cold and get ready for our training camp from the 2nd to the 7th in Park City. Then we head up to Vancouver. Hopefully I will update you on my status before then.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I miss these guys!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Val G & Bormio

Since I last wrote I have had a couple races, Val Gardena (one of my favorites) and Bormio (the most tiring course on tour) which are both in Italy.
Val Gardena has been nice to the US Ski Team over the past few years and this year was okay. It was good in the sense that almost everyone scored World Cup points (top 30). But this year we were almost all from 15-30 where as last year we were all in the top 10. I believe if anyone of us ski to our potential we can win. This year there was a lot of anticipation in the air and we all wanted to perform. We really hadn't done to well as a team so far this season and we all wanted to punch in there. But it was a weird day because some weather set in, especially the wind. So it was kind of a luck of the draw sort of deal. I was happy with my 18th place. More so because I skied well and executed like I wanted to and I had to hope for the best. I felt good because I was back in the points for the first time this year and that definitely helped with my confidence.
In between Val G and Bormio was Christmas. Traditionally we spend Christmas in Bormio and that is just what we did again. We usually celebrate over dinner with the Canadians. We have a gag gift exchange and lots of laughs. Their team is a good bunch of guys and they have a lot of fun wherever they are. Bormio traditionally has no snow and this year was different there was tons! It was a great Christmas gift! About a meter of snow fell right before we arrived and then it proceeded to dump rain for two days straight but we didn't let that ruin our Christmas. Up high on the mountain it was snowing that whole time so it made for a good powder day. Christmas day Marco Sullivan and I made our way up the Bormio 2000 and took several powder runs, which were also my first of the year and my first in a long while. Bormio has so much vert to the resort that you could fit two World Cup downhills from top to bottom. The top quarter of the resort had perfect, soft, bottomless powder but then it slowly turned into dust on crust and then into straight up rattly rain infused snow but skiing the top quarter was worth the beating you received on the bottom of the slope.
After that it was game time! Race day in Bormio is usually two days after Christmas so you have time to put your head back on and get ready for the most strenuous downhill on tour. Bormio isn't the longest on tour but it is rattly and turns the whole 2 minutes it takes to get to the bottom so your legs are cashed at the bottom. I really didn't know how I was going to handle this because of my lack of training and skiing this summer but I made it down. I wont say I felt good because I didn't have much left in me but I definitely exceeded my expectations! In the first training runs I was charging and skiing but wasn't being efficient with my energy. My technician told me to invest in my power. By that he meant to back off a little bit and conserve your power so I would have more energy at the bottom. I did just that and was pretty fast especially on the bottom portion of the course. I ended up 16th, a personal best at Bormio and was happy to have skied like I did. I made a few mistakes but I more importantly I skied really well through some tough sections and I gained the confidence in my endurance. I needed to test my endurance because the next race on the circuit is Wengen! 2 minutes and 30 seconds, the longest on tour! I was happy to gain that confidence and hopefully it carries over to Wengen!
After Bormio I decided to stay over in Europe because flying hurts my knees. So I have been roaming around Europe enjoying the sites and seeing friends. I had to opportunity to ski the Seloranda on January 2nd with several friends. The Seloranda is part of the Italian Dolomiti Superski. The biggest set of interconnected ski runs in the World. Skiing in the Dolomites is all about the views and on our day it was snowy, windy and cloudy so it didn't work out like we wanted it to but we had some good food along the way and laughs at the whole scenario. Our day trip turned into an 8 AM to 1230 AM excursion.
Time for Wengen in a couple days. Keep Cheering peeps!

Wengen classics

This year is the 80th running of the Lauberhorn in Wengen, Switzerland. I keep seeing shots from back in the day. I will try to feed them to you.
The hole skis in their early days! I like this shot, the old school jump position, legs together, holding the tuck, coming off of the hunschaft! The red suit, white helmet with the red racing stripe down the middle! Classic!
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Saturday, January 09, 2010

Adelboden slalom


Chodounsky will make the 30! Come on Daver!
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Some people may be able to accomplish something great but they were only able to accomplish that because of people before them that set the stage for the things that they were learning.
Kelly Slater (shelter)
Respect your elders and stay humble people! My Sunday lesson! Haha
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Adelboden predictions

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Zagreb predictions

Here's my predictions for the Zagreb slalom.


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