On January 5th I left Lake Placid to travel to Europe. I flew from Albany to Washington DC to Munich. From Munich we drove 6 hours to Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland where we raced the first weekend of IBU cups. In Poland there was supposed to be an individual, sprint, then pursuit but there was not very much snow so the individual race was changed to a sprint race. This was a good choice since there was only a 2.5km loop and the individual is a 20km race. After the first sprint race it rained a lot and most of the snow on the 2.5km loop melted, this resulted in us doing eight laps of a 1.3km loop to make up the second 10km sprint race. The rain continued after the second sprint race on Saturday and therefor Sunday's pursuit race had to be cancelled due to lack of snow. Unfortunately we woke up Monday morning to 6in of fresh snow. If only the snow could have come one day earlier we could have raced. Overall the races here did not go well for me. We raced 3 days after arriving so I was still feeling quite jet legged which made skiing more difficult then it should have been which didn't help my shooting either. Each of the two sprint days I missed 4 targets and did not ski that fast which when racing in Europe leaves you at the bottom of the results page.
From Poland we Traveled to Ridnaun, Italy for a second weekend of IBU cup races. When we first arrived in Ridnaun there was no natural snow but good skiing on a 2.5km man made loop. Throughout the weekend there was heavy snowfall which made racing difficult but I managed to push through and still have some solid races. During all the races in Ridnaun it was snowing very hard and I was really glad to have my new Bliz proflip shields to keep the snow out of my eyes, they worked impressively well. On Friday in the sprint race I had 0 misses and placed 38th. My skiing was still feeling somewhat tired but much better then in Poland. On Saturday was a pursuit race, again it was a solid race not great but not terrible either. My skiing was still a little sluggish feeling but I hit 18/20 targets which I was happy about. On Sunday was a mixed relay, the mixed relay consists of two girls and two boys. Our team was Maddie Phaneuf, Clair Egan, Wynn Roberts, and myself. In the relay even if you do not have the fastest skiers if you can still do very well as long as you don't have to ski any penalty loops which in theory shouldn't be that difficult because you get three extra bullets for each shooting stage. Maddie started out with a good race she used one spare in prone and didnt need any spares in standing. After that things started to go downhill rather quickly. Clair had to ski one penalty loop in prone and two loops in standing, she then tagged off two Wynn who had to ski five penalty loops in total. By the time I started we had already been lapped by at least half the teams and were in last place with about two minutes to the next team. Even though we didn't have any chance I tired to do my best, I used 3 spares in prone but had no loops and hit 5 for 5 in standing. Overall as a team the race was quite bad but I thought that I did an alright job with my leg.
After Ridnaun we drove to Toblach, Italy where I am now, with me is coach Jean, Maddie, Clair, and Russell Currier. The biathlon World Cup is going on very near by in Antholz, Italy. Some of the group I am with will be racing in some of the World Cup races and the rest of us will just be training in preparation for the European Championships in Estonia in two weeks. The European champs is essentially the championships of the IBU cup.
If the races had gone a bit better I may have had a chance to start the World Cup here in Antholz, but they didn't. Even though I don't get to race here I still get to train at the official training for the World Cup, I am excited about that! It will be super cool to ski around all the really fast guys. Next Sunday we will travel to Estonia, I am really excited to race there!!
|Flying out of Washington DC|
|Some building art in Poland|
|The Jumbotron truck in Poland|
|The Range in Poland, things were much to green for a ski race|
|The range in Ridnaun, Italy|
|An old church Kelsey, Wynn, and I ran to one afternoon|
|Racing the pursuit in Ridnaun|
|Maddie getting ready to shoot prone in the Relay|
|Racing the relay|
|The morning we left Italy the sun finally came out and we had to soak up some rays in front of our hotel|
|My first World Cup training bib|
|A cool tree stand I found on a run in Toblach|
|The mountains in Toblach|
|Our pink apartment building in Toblach|