January 23rd, 2013
Until this weekend I had never raced in France before but after spending the last week or so here it has definitely moved to the top of my list of kick ass places to be in Europe. The mountains here are beautiful and so far the hotels and food have been great too. So far it has either been dumping snow on us or warm and sunny which is basically a skiers dream… the hard part is being surrounded by what would be some amazing alpine touring but having to stick to the xc training plan.
La Clusaz is a preatty rad ski town with lots of xc skiing around and even more sweet alpine action. Gotta like cheese in France though thats for sure.
As a world cup racer one of the major reasons why a town or venue can jump to the top of your kick ass list has a lot to do with how you race there. Hotels, town, and food, play a major role too but putting together some good results at a venue can forever change your perception of the place. Thats kind of how I feel toward La Clusaz now after having some of my best ever distance races there this past weekend in the 15k classic and relay and I’m already stoked to spend more time in France. Since getting in lots of racing during the tour and feeling strong last weekend in Liberec I have definitely been feeling like my fitness has improved a lot since the beginning of the season so I was excited to get the chance to race a 15k classic on the world cup again. My last World Cup 15k in Canmore was a bit of a disappointment with a nasty crash my hopes for a good result were pretty shot, but in La Clusaz everything came together. Although most of my training and preparation is geared toward sprinting it’s always been my goal to be competitive in all distances of skiing so to know that I can ski with the best in the world on a 15k is encouraging to me.
the girls gear up for Relay Day… the red white and blue always comes out during team events.
For the men the conditions were unbeatable for the 4×7.5 relay, completely blue skies and warm sun made for some pretty damn fun racing. For me the first leg was another one of my best distance races of the year feeling comfortable in the pack the whole time and coming in to tag the hoff in 4th 2.5 seconds from first. We haven’t done a distance relay since the first world cup weekend of the year so it was great to see some improvement on everyone’s legs.
tons of snow here.. check out the roofs of some of the cabins
on Monday we made the short drive over a pass or two to the town of Les Saisies. This is where the cross country skiing of the Alberville olympics took place and it has become one of my favorite places to ski. There are a ton of trails including some perfect rolling training trails and the Olympic trails with much harder terrain. All the trails are rolling with lots of turns and unbelievable views. We will be spending the next week training here until we drive to Zurich on Saturday for a charter light to Sochi on Sunday. this is the beginning of a training block for most of us since we will be at altitude for the next tree weeks. So for many this is a time to put in a little training in order to have a peak in fitness for the world championships just 4 weeks away.
there are some epic vies of Mt. Blanc and other kick ass mountains throughout the trails here in Les Saisies