We saw a little but of everything during this trip to Russia from highs to lows both on the race track and in sub zero temperatures. In general it was an outstanding weekend of top performances from our ladies squad and as always it was an exciting adventure filled with things out of the ordinary so… here are a few pics.
the trip to Rybinsk started with a 6 hour bus ride from Moscow. The roads are a lil bit bumpy in some parts and our rickety bus didn’t go much faster than 40 miles per hour, but we were able to spread out and enjoy the bumps and just roll with it. We watched a few movies and kicked back but at the end of the day it was a wicked long travel day. I couldn’t believe we made it the whole 6 hour trip with only one roadside pit stop.
we made it to the race venue just in time for a very late dinner. We race and stay right next to the ski trails staying in cabins and eating in the restaurant with the rest of the skiers. Although the food might be little bit different you have to give them an A for effort and most things are pretty dialed when it comes to racing over here. I did take down a little chicken liver on a few nights but nothing too wild.
We woke up our first day to temperatures around -25 c. Which for us is below the legal racing limit but we headed out for an easy training day and did our best to prepare for the upcoming races.
Chilly early morning walk to breakfast
Just like most places in the far north when it’s clear it can get damn cold. especially here in Rybinsk since the rails are right next to the Volga river humidity is high and the wind can get ripping.
When it’s -25 most of the time we don’t do any super hard training to protect the lungs so we went out for an easy classic ski and it was actually really nice with pretty speedy snow and some sunshine.
Frosty first ski in Rybinsk
Luckily things warmed up a bit for the 3 days of races and the typical massive crowds of Russia came out to brave the cold. Here the stands are just filling up but just outside the gates there are tons of venders and ‘tailgaters’ enjoying the XC skiing scene eating and dancing with strange Disney World type mascots. There were many highlights of the weekend including Liz getting her first career podium with a 2nd place in the skate race. Jessie scoring two top 5’s, and all the girls pretty much kicking ass all weekend. In addition Erik scored his first spirt points on Saturday.
Beautiful spot here in Rybinsk… as long as you don’t mind the cold
I’ve always had a great time traveling around Russia and look forward to the next time we come back. There are so many old buildings and a lot of history in the country…. and I like checking out some of the crazy vehicles they have over here.
One of the many old chapels we pass through the small towns between Moscow and Rybinsk.
Tomorrow morning we will have an early morning exit from Russia flying on a charter flight to Munich where we will load up our rental vans again and drive to Davos. The team and I will have our pre World Champs training camp in Davos for the next two weeks and I’m looking forward to forgetting about some of these less than stellar world cup results getting healed up and healthy and focusing on the big show in Falun!