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Thursday, December 28, 2006

I hope all of you are thoroughly enjoying the holiday season. It's really a treat to be back at home spending the holidays with the fam, speaking English (rather than butchering German), and catching some football on the tube. I'm spending my free time doing some conditioning training, trying to maintain my current fitness, as the skiing back here is basically nonexistent. May the snow god's drop some white flakes on us out of pity.

As for the next couple weeks, we have some very important Nor-Am races in Sunday River on the 2nd- 5th of January then on the 6th we leave for another European tour so this break is really important to do some conditioning and rest up.

But before those races, I'll be at the ANNUAL GUNSTOCK SKI CLUB FUNDRAISER tomorrow (Friday. Dec 29th) for some World Cup Video with Head USST Coach Mike Morin and an auction to follow. We were expecting to have a race; but unfortunately, limited snow cover at the rock cancelled that portion of the fundraiser. The flier is attached.

If your around tomorrow stop by!!
Where: Cantina Lounge (Upstairs) in the Gunstock Lodge.
When: December 29th from 4-6, probably to be extended with beers in the Powder Keg downstairs.
Why: to help support a great cause: ski racing in the lakes region.

Hope to see a few of you there. Happy Holidays, w

posted by Warner at 12/28/2006 07:50:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

Crossing the line.
Sunday, December 17, 2006

Today was a learning experience. I had a few exceptional turns, but all and all I gave the gran risa far too much respect. Fully pinning it was the only acceptable option (now I know that). I ended up pivoting (sliding the top of the turn) far too many times finishing 1.74 seconds out of qualifying for a second run in 52nd place. I started 56th. Either way, it was the first time I’ve crossed the finish line in a World Cup event so it’s a move in the right direction.

I’m taking tomorrow off and then leaving for Hinterstroder, a six hour drive to Austria, after the slalom tomorrow. Then we’ll free ski on Tuesday, train on Wednesday, race the World Cup GS on Thursday, and travel home on Friday.

Take care, w

posted by Warner at 12/17/2006 12:56:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

Gran Risa
Saturday, December 16, 2006

This morning we had some great training in Alta Badia before a GS free ski session on the race hill. The race hill is just incredible. No TV coverage, video, or pictures could ever do it justice. This classic World Cup GS - referred to as the “gran risa” - is the ideal GS race hill with multiple 90 degree trail turns, a number of blind rolls, two gnarly pitches that are steeper than anything I’ve ever raced skied (57% grade), and it’s completely injected with water. It’s steep right out of the gate and doesn’t let up for a minute and twenty second. It’s going to be a fun ride.

Today I encountered my first race hill free ski session that involved 50 racers waiting at the top until the hill opened at 9:45 sharp. Everyone was at the top jockeying for position to be the first one down the piste. It was like the start of a marathon without any control and 50 World Cup skiers charging down the hill all at once. The idea is to go first and only make a few really good turns on the first run that way you can make it back around to have a good second and third run once everyone spreads out. On my second run, I lost my a ski on one of the pitches so I ended up only having one good run, my third. It will have to do.

Anyway, today was great day for American skiing at the Val Gardena downhill as Steve Nyman took home the victory and Marco Sullivan was fourth. It was another phenomenal day; hopefully tomorrow will be just as prosperous.

Talk to you all soon, w

P.S. We’re all over the awful food poisoning so it’s game on.

posted by Warner at 12/16/2006 12:54:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

Winter Park
Saturday, December 09, 2006

Hello all,

We’re about to finish up a four day tech series in Winter Park, CO. We’ve had two SL races and one GS so far. This series is plagued with soft snow making start position have a huge impact on the results, especially the slaloms (both days the racer who drew pole position won the race, granted both Paul and Will skied really well). In the slaloms I finished 4th (started 3rd) the first day and blew out the second day. In the GS today I had a disappointing first run as I just never found the rhythm to finish the run in 9th place. Second run was a much straighter, quicker set so I turned up the intensity and got after it. I pinned off most of the course, ended up winning the run, and moved into 3rd so it turned out to be a satisfying day after all.

Right now we’re moving out of our room before check out tomorrow morning and getting ready for one more day of GS before we drive to Denver tomorrow night, fly to Munich in the AM on Sunday, and drive to Italy on Monday.

I hope all is well back east. I wish I was in Jackson, NH celebrating the union of Jessie and Alison Thompson. Congrats bro!!! Wish I was there, w

posted by Warner at 12/09/2006 05:58:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

A day at the white circus
Saturday, December 02, 2006

Hello all,

Yesterday was a huge opportunity. After inspection I knew there was a great chance I could qualify for a second run as I drew bib 54. The course was challenging with a few tough sections, but the rock hard ice made it anyone’s race.

As I stood in the gate there were a number of coaches behind me screaming at the top of their lungs GO GO GO GO GO!!! I looked down at my skis and pushed onto the course with all my might. I was charging as hard as I could- my top split showed I wasn’t loosing much time- as I hammered into the Golden Eagle jump. I took an aggressive line and pinned off the first three gates of the pitch, but I just lost pressure on my down hill ski and couldn’t make it across the hill to the next gate. And just like that my day was over.

Either way, it was a great opportunity and I can walk away with more confidence in GS. Today, I was up there watching the slalom and it was impressive to see just how hard the winners are pushing the limits of the sport. It was a tough day for American’s as Jimmy Cochran was the only finisher in 22nd place.

Since there isn’t much snow in Europe we’re hanging around here for a few days to catch some races in Winter Park before we rip over to Europe at the end of the week for the next World Cup GS, Alta Badia.

I hope all is well, w

Thanks to all of you that came out!!! It was great to be in the finish corral with my mother, brother, Jamie, Glaugh, Alex, David, Katie, Kellan,. Katie, Heather, and everyone else.

posted by Warner at 12/02/2006 08:12:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

Greetings from Beaver Creek.
Friday, December 01, 2006

We just had a brilliant day out here in Downhill. Bode won, Nyman was third, while Marco and Scotty Mac rounded out the top ten. What a day for Americans at home. This has to be the best day for American Downhill skiing in years, if not ever.

As for me and the Europa Cup guys, It’s great to be racing again. The last four days we were racing in Keystone at the first Nor-Ams of the season. A few of the guys put together some fast runs. Jit dominated two runs of GS on separate days and Cody put together some great slalom runs. It was really good to see that we have pace in our group, but unfortunately I was never able to put together a great run. There were a few really good sections, but not a run.

Today I checked out the bird’s of prey race hill during downhill inspection and was able to snap off a couple of GS turns in preparation for tomorrow’s World Cup GS. It’s a really difficult hill, which favors me, now all I have to do is get fired up and become part of the American domination. The goal is to get a second run (only the top thirty do). I’ll be starting in the high 60s. Let’s hope for good weather, a hard surface, and a little luck.

It’s go time soon. w

posted by Warner at 12/01/2006 01:10:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments