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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


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