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A good day in Italy
Wednesday, February 20, 2008

This morning was pretty average. I woke up, scrapped my skis, had some breakfast, and went out on the slopes early to get at least one training run in one of the two training courses. The snow was soft, hero snow that broke up pretty quickly so getting up there early was imperative for a decent warm up in the gates. I felt all right on my first run and decided a second run just wasn’t in the cards as swarms of Europa Cup skiers hammered run after run in the training courses.

The set was pleasant. It was pretty tight on the pitch at the top and then it opened up all the way to the bottom. Anyway, first run I had some trouble and wasn’t happy with the way I was skiing. The skis I raced on were a pair of really stiff Atomics that are great on hard injected ice, but they’re really hard to bend at the top of the turn in soft snow. After a few minutes of contemplating what to do with my skis, I left the hill and went back to our hotel – a short walk down the road – to scrap a pair of softer skis I’d only used as warm up skis earlier this season. They’re not the newest model, but they’re soft and well skied in so I thought screw it, I’m going to race second run on those.

Usually when I call an audible midway through the day it doesn’t work out because I spend way too much time trying to prep a pair of untuned skis and don’t spend enough time relaxing and getting mentally prepared for the second run.

I used the softer skis anyway and spent most of the hour break before inspection getting them ready. I inspected, took a free run on the softer skis, rubbed on some additive (start wax), and hoped for the best. Luckily, my first run wasn’t too terrible so I was still in the flip – 29th place –starting 2nd. Tim Kelley was staring first so we got each other fired up at the start.

Staring early like this on a day with soft snow is a huge advantage. I pushed out of the gate as hard as I could and cut off Timmy’s line down the first pitch can carried good speed on to the flat. Over a couple of blind rolls I through a short pivot (slid the top of the turn rather than arced it) which was painful, but without a grove I was able to put down a great run. I ended up moving from 29th up to 6th and scored the most Europa Cup points of the season. I was 2nd on the second run (two tenths out). Timmy also had a great second run. He finished 5th on the run and ended up finishing the race in 21st place.

Anyway, the audible paid off and I’m psyched to hammer out one more day of racing on the same hill. Game on.


posted by Warner at 2/20/2008 04:04:00 PM


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