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Flying solo
Thursday, January 17, 2008

First off, it was great having my brother around as a friend and a coach. Granted he’s not the most well versed ski coach I’ve ever worked with, but when there is someone looking after you with your best interests in mind everything is a whole lot better in this game.

Since I dropped Guy off at the airport in Munich – a few days ago – I was able to get one good day of GS training with the Finnish Ski Team and competed in 2 GS races in Kirchberg, Austria. The first day, I finished 10th and put together a great second run with a little mishap near the finish, but I was really happy with how I skied on the pitch. The second day of racing, yesterday, I was in 8th after first run and went a little straight in a turny section up top and blew out. It was too bad I blew out, but it was great to see Dane Spencer put together a good race finishing 4th (he’s been struggling a little bit on his comeback from a near death ski injury two years ago). Dane’s a good guy and it was nice to see him in high spirits.

Anyway, right after the race I ran into the Team America crew, that’s Bode’s team, and was able to get some incredible slalom training with Bode, Ted Ligety, and Steve Nyman. The whole situation was entertaining because the Team America crew gave me the invite without mentioning it to any of the USST coaches. Johno, Forest, and Mike were psyched to see me training with them, while it was clear the ski team coaches we’re nearly as excited that I joined them. Either way, it was the best training I’ve had all year and I have to thank the Team America crew for making it happen. Not to mention, it was great to get some coaching. They are all flying high right now off Bode’s dominate week at Wengen and all they can talk about is how much he’s killing it.

After the training, I drove to Patsch for the night and started to feel an aggressive head cold coming on. I was up most of the night with a fever, got an appointment at the doctors office in Igls this morning, and found out I have the Flu. Bummer. Next year I’m definitely getting a Flu shot in the fall. Luckily, they had some antiviral Tamiflu medication so I’m on that, but I still feel pretty miserable. I guess there has been an out break of the Flu in eastern Austria in the last two weeks, awesome. There is a big gap in races over here so I booked a flight home in two days to take a little break from skiing and then get a solid block of training. Hopefully by then I’ll be in good enough shape to travel.

Hope you’re all doing well, w

posted by Warner at 1/17/2008 04:05:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

We’re back in Europe!!!
Sunday, January 13, 2008

We’re back in Europe!!!

After arriving in Munich on Wednesday, Guy and I drove to Hinterstoder for two Europa Cup races vis a vis Salzburg for Guy to experience some of the best schnitzel in Austria.

The first race at Hinterstoder was a SG. I did it basically to check out the hill for the GS the following day. As it turns out, the Hinterstoder race hill is pretty gnarly, it’s a whole lot impressive than the hill I raced a World Cup GS on last December (the race was held up top because of limited snow conditions)

Anyway, I finished the SG, but that’s about all I can say. I had absolutely no grip, my edges just weren’t getting the job done, but luckily I was able to stand up and cross the finish line to finish 48th (I started 76 because my SG points aren’t too good). I should probably talk to my technician about that… oh wait, that’s me.

The next day we raced the GS and first run I put together a solid performance. I had a bit of trouble up top, but was able to put together some good turns on the lower rolls. It was a painfully long 1 minutes and 20 second of GS on rock hard snow so I was pretty tired when I crossed the line.

The second run, I started 9th and had an awful upper section, I got late and back three gates in and was just stuck in the back seat for the entire first pitch, bummer. On the lower rolls, I was able make up some time so I didn’t get slaughtered. I ended up finishing in 23rd so I accumulated some more coveted Europa Cup GS points. The two other American finishers, Jitloff and Zamansky, put together great second runs finishing 7th and 9th, respectively.

We planned to leave Hinterstoder and go to Munich for the night and then to Switzerland for two more Europa Cup GS races, but the first race was cancelled so I asked Coach Guy what he wanted to do. He quickly responded with, “Let’s go to Italy and see the Med.” We looked at the map and realized we could go south and hit Venice on our way to Switerland and it would only be a few extra hours of driving each day so I called up Carlo Salmini, the Slytech founder, and he set us up with a “rustic” place to stay right on the grand canal. This huge apartment is much more of a museum than anything else; it’s absolutely beautiful. Carlo thanks for the unbelievable place to stay and your bother Antonio, the best tour guide in the city. Venice is amazing.

Anyway, we ended up staying in the city an extra night because yesterday we received a call that all the races in Switzerland were cancelled, for an unknown reason. So we’re leaving this morning for Austria and three more GS races.

Hope all is well, w

posted by Warner at 1/13/2008 03:39:00 AM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

Off to the front line
Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Back to free wireless in Manch-Vegas, NH!! Sweet.

The last few days have been pretty hectic from last minute planning to voting in the NH Primary bright and early this morning. Roger, the only other member of Team Maximum Velocity (our team), decided not to fly to Europe with me today. After a tough Nor-Am series he’s going to train in the east before he gets back into the starting gate. Bummer.

Without my wingman Roger Brown, my brother offered to come over for a week to help me out for the two races in Hintersoder, Austria and the two in Veysonnaz, Switzerland which is awesome. I’m psyched he’s coming and we’re going to get after it.

As for the rest of the Nor-Ams in Sunday River, they didn’t go as well as the first day. That being said, my GS is the fastest of my career and my slalom has some serious potential. In second GS, I was in second place after the first run – two tenths behind Canadian Scott Barrett – and was putting together a great second run. I came into a tight, bumpy section on the bottom of the second pitch and tried to set up a tough fall away left footer. I quickly found myself stuck in the soft snow as I set it up too much and was forced to hammering on the brakes to stay in the course to finish 5th. Bummer. In both slaloms I went out, but I was actually starting to get some early pressure at the top of the turn, which was a HUGE improvement from Nor-Ams in Winter Park, CO. All and all, I was happy with the way I skied and it was great to win the first race up there.

I’d like to thank my Dad, Mom and Dennis, Guy and Becca, Warner and Susan, Roger’s parents, Julia, Steve Grant, and Josh Bedard for coming up to Sunday River to help out and cheer on Team Maximum Velocity. Thanks for coming.

Guy and I are off to fight in the trenches at the next Europa Cup series. Hope you’re all doing well and I’ll certainly be in touch, w

P.S. If you’re a resident of NH VOTE!!!

posted by Warner at 1/08/2008 10:32:00 AM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

Bitterly cold at the River
Thursday, January 03, 2008

I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and I hope your holiday season was a ton of fun. I spent most of mine with family and friends throughout the east coast.

And now we’re back to racing in Sunday River, Maine for four Nor-Am races (2 GS and 2 SL). I’ve always enjoyed Sunday River so I was psyched to come up here and race. Today was our first day of GS racing and it wasn’t the pleasant Sunday River I remember. It was miserably cold. I woke up this morning a bit tired after sharing a full size bed with Roger to look outside and see what looked to be the coldest, windiest day of the season. It’s nice to be back in Maine. Anyway, we hopped into the car to see the thermometer reading -5 °F as we drove up to the mountain after calling a few people to see if inspection was postponed. Unfortunately, everything was on schedule.

Inspection was painfully cold and windy so when I got back to the lodge I quickly bought some boot heaters and a neck warmer for the race. The organizers ended up pushing back the start and lowing it because the wind just didn’t let up. First run, I put together a solid run with two pivots or speed skids to stay on track and found myself in 3rd only a tenth of a second off Tim Kelley.

Second run, I was pretty fired up. I hammered out of the gate and took a direct line down the first pitch. The course became exceptionally turny and I found myself pretty late, but still in it. I kept the tempo up and made some good turns down the top of the second pitch and then got a bit late again. The snow held up great considering it snowed about 25 inches in the last four days up here, but it was starting to break down near the finish. I kept a higher line on the bottom and snapped off a few more good turns to come through the finish line and move into first. It felt great to win my first Nor-Am GS!

And it was fun to share it with my Dad, Roger, Steve Grant, Ray Fougere, and our coach for the week Josh Bedard!

Now it’s time to get fired up for another day of GS tomorrow.

Hope you’re all doing well. W

P.S. I ended up scoring an 11 point race, the best GS result of my career.

posted by Warner at 1/03/2008 09:20:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments