Friday, January 11, 2008

abtenau, days 2-5

The less said about Tuesday's GS race, the better. All of our team finished the race, and yet not one American ended up on the podium. I had a really mediocre run, followed by a run that was going better until I hip checked on the flats, dumping all my speed. I popped right back up and kept going to the finish, but I was way off the mark, finishing 12th. As usual, Martin Braxenthaler of Germany was the winner in my class.

The last three days have been a different story — well, not for Martin, who's continued to win every day, but for us Americans. We had three super-combineds, the newest event on the disabled World Cup circuit. Each race consists of one run of super G and one run of slalom in a single day; the winner is the one with the fastest combined time. It's a fun race because it allows the speed specialists to compete against the more technical skiers in a sort of jack-of-all-trades battle. For more about combined races, see this Wikipedia article (which I wrote a lot of).

ANYway, my teammate CDY did extremely well, winning the super G portion of all three races — which were also scored independently as super G's, so he's now won three World Cups this season. Slalom is not his specialty, but he managed to do well enough in the slalom legs to take 2nd, 5th, and 3rd in the super combis. As for me, I am struggling with super G right now. I feel great during my runs, but when I look at my time I always seem to be blindsided by how slow I am. Slalom is a little better...

I was 5th, 13th, and 10th in the super Gs. I didn't finish the slalom portion the first day, but ended up 9th overall in yesterday's race and 8th in today's. Complete results can be found here, and you can read some U.S. Ski Team press releases here.

Tomorrow, we're off to Queyras, France — a 10-hour drive — for more World Cup action.

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