February 9th, 2012
Just a quick update from the road here on the World Cup. In the past week we have traveled from Russia back to Ramsau Austria for a little bit of training and on to Nove Mesto Czech Republic for the next set of races. I have to say traveling to Moscow for the sprint was pretty insane and although the really cold temps kept most of the fans at home it was still cool. When racing in a place like Russia and especially in a big city, things that are usually easy tend to take a long time and are always an issue. Getting to the race for instance could sometimes take anywhere from 10 minutes to 50 minutes so it was hard to know what to expect and literally nobody speaks English. So for the most part we kept on bundling up for the -20 air temps and trekking to the venue for course inspection.
The hotel that we, and a bunch of other teams, were staying at was a huge scene too. It was basically like nothing I’ve ever seen before with shops and restaurants in the lobby, a bowling ally, casino, along with a 24h strip club where girls would stand out in front of with lingerie on around the clock. On the World Cup the races are almost always in the afternoon for TV reasons so when we travel to a place like this for just 3 days nobody ever adjusts to the time zone. So all the different athletes were rolling out of bed at the crack of 10am to go eat a buffet breakfast in a bar surrounded by people chain smoking and looking real haggard from the night before. kind of a funny situation. But the races were sweet and although I felt ok I just didn’t ski a smart heat… but to be there for Jessie’s ‘hello world’ performance was cool. Everyone likes to see new skiers come out of nowhere and kick ass on the world cup and when it’s an American the media gets stoked and so do we.
After the Russian races the team re-grouped for a few days in Ramsau, which has been our home away from home this year. We have spent something like almost 4 weeks there throughout the winter which is pretty impressive considering how much we travel. So to have trails and hotels that you are really familiar with makes for a fun break and the weather there is always pretty epic. here are a few pics from skiing yesterday, and the grooming is like that literally every day. This morning we packed up the three vans and huge crew of skiers and drove the 6 hour road trip to Nove Mesto. Now Nothing against Czech or Eastern Europe but the E block can get a little dreary sometimes. As we drive out of the nice blue skies and snowy mountains of Austria things just get bit darker, foggier, and greyer. But honestly although it sometimes it smells slightly like burning diapers I really like racing in the E Block because the trails are always pretty old school and fun and people get fired up about skiing over here. This weekend we are racing a 30k mass start classic and a relay. This will be my first 30k of the season so I’m not sure what to expect but anytime it’s a mass start classic race I have a pretty good time. Next weekend we’ll roll on to Poland for another weekend on the glory tour! basically the sketchier it is the more I like it.
hotel in Moscow
Diggs taking the world by storm
Skiing some freshies in Ramsau yesterday
Down time in Ramsau…. Sylvan pretending he’s Mother Teresa