After a few good races, Nina is ranked 2nd overall in the French Rankings and the French Cup.
Archive for February, 2011
The Transcavallo, as it was called had a star studded field. Francesca Martinelli, coming out of retirement from nearby Bormio and of course, Laetitia Roux and Mirea Miro were there to battle it out for the Overall World Cup leader position.
Nina had a good race and promised not to go out too hard, which had been great for her sprints, but building up too much lactic acid in the longer races. She was quite close to Michela Essl from Austria and even within pouncing distance from top World Cup racers, Corrine Clos of Italy and Mireille Richard of Switzerland. She even passed The Swissess, Emily Gex-Fabry who eventually dropped out. Although 11th overall was a little disappointing, Nina had a good race and is getting closer to the “real’ World Cup competitors. To put it in perspective, she was only betean by one French girl, one Spanish girl, one Austrian and a few Swiss and Italian girls. The Swiss girls are really on fire this year!
5th overall in the World Cup Sprint! World Cup #2 in Gavarnie, France, The Pyrenees! 23,24 Jan 2011, 1320m.Saturday, February 5th, 2011
Nina drove down to the Pyrenees for this one by herself, a 10 hour trop! The small village of Garvanie hosted this two day event, like at Pelvoux with a sprint the first day. Day 2 would have a pursuit style start based on the sprint time bonuses.Now that Nina knew more about the sprints and had practiced more, she pretty much rocked the event! Nina placed 4th in the qualifying event! The fourth fastest qualifier of all the world cup woman! Nina finished up 5th overall which gave her a headstart on many of her competitors for the next day. And this might be a separate event in the World Championships!
Nina’s race went well, but she still didn’t have the extra gear in the uphills. She finished 9th overall and is now ranked 7th overall in the World Cup classification.
Well, the long anticipated World Cup season started 8 January 2011. The first race was in Pelvoux France, just in the Ecrins National Park and near Nina’s longtime family friend, Lionel Alphond. Lionel is a mountain guide and a ski racer, brother of Luc Alphond–World Cup champion in Downhill. Lionel came to Sugarloaf, Maine a while back, staying with Nina’s family and coaching alpine racing. It was there he got the idea to start a micro brewery in his small village in France. L&L (Luc and Lionel) beer and their brewery is a popular spot if you are in the area.
So how did Nina’s race go??? Nina was fitter that ever, having been coached by Adam St. Pierre of Boulder Center for Sports Medicine and had just come off a podium placing in French Individual Nationals. Her race was good and she felt strong, but a boot problem caused her to loose some time and she finished 11th overall. Not too bad for a first race. The rock hard snow put a lot of extra stresses on the lightweight material and saw other racers DNF’ing, so Nina did a great job to finish. And, being very prepared, she had a spare powerstrap in her pack and was able to put that around her boot when the latching system failed. Although, she had to stop four times on the descent to pull it back up to the top of her boot.
This year, the World Cup races are shorter than last for the women, this one having 1300 meters of climbing. Nina wishes they were longer as before, but is learning to train for the shorter format.
Also new this year is a sprint format which Nina is naturally very talented at. The sprint is the day before and give you extra seconds for the following days’ endurance race. Nina did great, but didnt know she made the finals so was relugated to last in her heat. But the next WC she did even better!