Monday, January 30, 2012

Milano City Sprints

Today I flew back to Europe for the next set of races. There is a good connection at our hotel here in Switzerland, so it's probably time to get some pictures up from the city sprints in Milano.

The race was in a park right in downtown Milano. The grass was green and the trees had leaves on them. It was a surreal scene. In this picture, the organizers are in the early stages of setting up the course.
The snow got trucked in and spread out bit by bit.
The finished product. The track was in excellent shape.
Ready to get after it.

Seriously... how cool is this venue?

World Cup. Fact.

This is how the snow was contained. So much work to build this track.

Loving it.
Old Glory.

The servicemen were only allowed 25 minutes on the course for testing. The ski depot was chaos as everyone got organized.

Just before the allotted testing time, the techs lined up like a mass start race. One of the course marshals fired a gun and it was one. People came pouring out of the ski depot. It was lucky no one broke equipment.

Kikkan - ultra focused. Keep the bases of those races skis down to avoid prying eyes.

Getting ready. Kikkan is second from the left.

Kikkan is a rock star, and for good reason. Random people (like this guy) were constantly asking to get their picture with her.
We had pizza one night.

The boxes for the team sprint. Between each leg of the relay, the athletes would rush over to have us remake their skis.
Before the team sprint.
So fast. You have no idea.

Silver medal.
Jessie, me, and Kikkan. Super fun to be part of the team.

I will be here in Switzerland until Sunday, February 5. From there we head to Riga, Latvia.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Seiser Alm

After the conclusion of the Tour de Ski, we headed to Seiser Alm (Italy). The team did some training and the staff did some recovering.

We had to take a snowcat up to the hotel. Very cool.

The view that greeted us upon arrival at the Alpen Hotel Panorama.

The lobby was pretty awesome and an awesome place to get some much needed recovery.

This guy was a cook at our hotel. He introduced himself one night when I was down in the garage working. That box you see on the table is a Christmas package from his mom, so we shared some baking.

Perfect morning.

Well, hello!

There was a pool.

I like hanging out at pools.

There was a dessert bar. I like Italian desserts.

One last look at the mountains before heading to Milano.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tour de Ski - update part 3

The rest of the pictures that I have.

The waxing cabins in Oberstdorf. Basically a big tent with compartments. Shared air is bad times due to all the powder.
The waxing cabins in Dobbiaco. Much better.
The stadium in Dobbiaco.
The trail goes right over top of the building. Fact.
The stadium at Val di Fiemme several hours before the race. Such a nice day.
The other end of the stadium. So much sunshine.
Just before the start of the women's hill climb. The big jacket was not necessary. Way too hot.
Bjorgen 800m from the top of the climb. Look at the way the people are standing - TV and pictures do this climb no justice. It is STEEP.
Therese Johaug 800m from the top. Paul and Jack - that one is for you.
Men's podium.

That's it folks... tomorrow we drive to Seiser Alm until the weekend. Apparently we have to be driven to the hotel in a snow cat. Pretty cool.

Tomorrow's destination. This will be ok... I guess...

Tour de Ski - update part 2

A few more pictures from the past few days. Again, all stolen from Zach.

Traffic in Italy, three minutes after crossing the border. We're not in Germany anymore.
There is good skiing in Dobbiaco.
The scene at the Dobbiaco venue upon our arrival. Ski service means early mornings.
Our last morning in Dobbiaco. What a view.
Liz and Kikkan found the world's largest container of nutella. We didn't buy it.
Don't mess with Squadra USA.
The course profile from today. See those little rolling hills at the start? In reality, those are some freaking big climbs that broke a lot of people yesterday. The final climb is just that badass.
Star Map Black; tough as nails, terrible to work with.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

TDS update - stage 4 complete

It's hard to believe that four stages of the Tour are already over. Tonight we are packing to head to Italy, so here are a few quick pictures (all stolen from Zach).
Foggy Oberhof Stadium. At least it wasn't pouring rain the way it has been in Oberstdorf. The weather in Germany is a major bummer.
Now we work.
The snow situation in Oberhof wasn't good.
This is what the track looked like the day before the race. It was a dirty, soft, rocky mess. The organizers did an amazing job of getting things in top shape for the race.
Zach's comment on this picture:  Toque got an all-access pass. That's a lot of zones he can get into. Serious VIP. His reputation must have preceded him.
Lunch in Oberhof. The first and only day we ate lunch at home (or before 5PM).
World Cup ski service is a lot fun, but don't kid yourself - it is work. We are up before the sun and home after dark every day.
Now we burn powder.

Yes, this respirator looks ridiculous but it is a treat to use as compared to my old mask.
New Year's Eve in Oberstdorf. Kikkan had hats and noisemakers to pass out.
All klister all the time.
Ultra pro.