What a crazy few weeks! We are back in Seefeld, Austria having a low-key afternoon watching the snow fall. We took a few jumps this morning and did an interval session directly after. I’m always happy to come to a place that makes me feel at home and the hotel Zum Gourmet does a killer job of that. Great meals and nice company makes it easy to prep for the competition weekend.
On deck this weekend is the nordic combined triple event which is 3 competitions in 3 days. We start with a 1 jump 5km on Friday, move to the usual 1 jump 10km on Saturday, and then the finale is a 2 jump 15km on Sunday. I really like the shakeup in formatting for this weekend because sometimes 10km races just get too familiar. It will be interesting to see how different strengths and weaknesses will play out.
Right after Olympic qualifiers in Park City, Nick, Adam, Michael, Taylor and I jumped on a plane to Chaykovsky Russia for the next World Cups. Adam gives a good look at the rough travel schedule it took to get to the other side of the world. Unfortunately we didn’t perform to the best of our abilities or what we were expecting at least but we got some good experience and got to check out one of the new really cool venues of the world with perfect cross-country tracks and amazing ski jumps. We made it through the weekend managing to not get frostbite in the -26C weather and some personal best finishes (32nd for me) so we were optimistic to keep the competitions coming.
Last weekend was an exciting return to Chaux-Neuve, France where I had some flashbacks to my first ever World Cup in 2009. It was good to see that this event still draws an enormous crowd! I’m not sure where they come from but the whole town was so packed and loud it gave me chills. My jumping was on the rise every jump I took, but unfortunately I didn’t quite get it up to qualifying shape on Friday so I had to sit out for Saturdays event. Bryan and Bill qualified and laid down some good results despite the cross-country race being like a 50 man skier cross event in the slush. Bryan went down on an icy corner and lost significant time half way through the race but both him and Bill still crushed it.
Our team suffered a big blow on the qualifying day when Todd tipped in and injured his shoulder. He was forced to go home to get it checked out, but seeing how he has totaled a car with his body and walked away from it we are confident that iron man will recover fast.
With Todd out I joined Taylor for the team sprint event Sunday. We put ourselves pretty far back in the race after the jumping but had some good first laps to get back to the race. We knew we had to go for it since we had nothing to lose so we caught a bunch of teams in the first 3 laps. For the last 2 we just weren’t able to pull back any more time and the legs started to get heavy but we were satisfied since we had to go all in and see what can happen.
What I took away from Chaux-Neuve is that I am on the right track. While my jumping still wasn’t where it needed to be I did make some good progress and was able to respond to the higher level of competition and sort some technical things out.
After this weekend in Seefeld we will all regroup at home and see what the plan is moving forward in the season. There is still a lot of racing to be done and I feel more confident every day!