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Great news from the trenches.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009

After Tommy Ford’s impressive performance in Alta Badia, I now have a starting spot in Adelboden. Tommy finished 24th giving another nation spot to the US so we will have 6 starting spots for Adelboden. This is great news and my last shot at an Olympic berth. Right now this is how the spots go for GS: Ted Ligety is in, Tommy Ford has a 24th, Jake Zamansky has a 25th, Tim Jitloff has a 28th, and Bode has yet to qualified. All I’ve wanted is opportunities and this is it.

The next week I’ll be kicking around the east doing Christmas. Then I fly to Europe on the 31st for a few days of training with the ski team in Hinterreit, Austria. I’m skiing fast and consistent, I’m in the right frame of mine, and whatever happens this is my shot.

Happy Holidays,

posted by Warner at 12/23/2009 05:32:00 AM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

Fast Training at Paganella
Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hello all,

First off, let’s talk about the Val D’Isere unused spots. Bode rolled his ankle playing volleyball at the same time as the team captains meeting and made the call to pull out of the race later that night. Since it was after the seed meeting there was no opportunity to change the entry. Tommy, who was there ready to race, ended up missing his start because he was hanging out in the lodge above the start for too long.

The last couple days, Dane and I have been training with the ski team. Before that we jumped into the some FIS GS races in Pampeago, Italy. I was third in one of the races so that was nice. Being on the podium in Italian FIS races is rather difficult so I was happy.

Today Jake Zamasky, Tim Jitloff, Tommy Ford, Dane Spencer, and I (Ted decided not to come up because he was sick) trained four runs of GS. I won three out of four runs and had the fastest time of the day three-tenths ahead of Jitloff. It was a sweet course on a pretty flat partially injected, partially watered hill. It’s a perfect training venue. I won the first two runs, lost the third because I had a bad strategy with my broken pole. The sharp end of my swix pole broke off at some point during my second run and in my third I just couldn’t get any speed out of the gate. Then with a better strategy – using the broken one with my right hand where the snow was a little softer – I won the final run.

I’m pretty exhausted because I put a lot of effort into the last two days of training, but I had a video session and talked to some of the coaches afterwards and they were all excited with my skiing. It definitely felt good to beat up on the ski team guys, but I still don’t have a start in Alta Badia. I am going to email Sasha and start lobbying for a start in Adelboden as it is the last opportunity before they pick the Olympic team.

The next few days, Dane and I will be working for Phil McNichol helping him set up for the World Alpine Rockfest, which is a winner take all 100,000 euro price race and rock concert with 15 of the top world cup guy. We’ll probably be putting up fence and injecting. We’ll find out tomorrow.

The ski team leaves here for Alta Badia tomorrow. It’s been nice to work in with them since they have some great staff member and a full time cook. The food has been epic. Scotty Veenis is the bus driver, which is hilarious. He’s awful entertaining to have around. The ski team rented a full kitchen bus for the next couple months and Adam, the cook, is exceptionally good.

Anyway, hope all is well, w

posted by Warner at 12/17/2009 03:20:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

Lots of Italian races
Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hello all,

I’m in Paganella right now with the US slalom guys and Dane. Phil McNichol set us up with housing here for the next few days, which is great.

The last two days we raced GS in San Vigilio, Italy. The snow was very soft so moving up was challenging. I skied pretty average both first runs and finished 19th and 17th (which were my bib numbers), then put together two solid second run to move up to 14th and 12th, respectively. Both Dane and Jimmy made the flip (finished in the top 30 after first run) the second day so it was nice to see them putting together some runs.

We are going to race in Pampeago, Italy the next two days, then maybe Madonna the next two days after that. Dane and I were pretty bummed out to watch Val d’Isere World Cup GS this morning to see both Bode and Tommy Ford not start. Which means there were two open spots. The three American’s that did start – Ted, Jitloff, and Zamansky -all made the second run, which is good to see. However, it shows that world cup points are almost certainly the only way secure Olympic berths. We need some more starts.

Hope you’re all doing well. w

posted by Warner at 12/13/2009 06:41:00 AM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

Beaver Creek
Monday, December 07, 2009

Going to Beaver Creek brought out mixed emotions. I did see Cody Marshall for the first time since his accident, which was great. It’s always fun to hang out with Cody; seeing him was definitely the highlight of going to Beaver Creek.

I really wasn’t all that psyched to be forerunning. I wanted to be racing. During inspection, I ran into Warbird, he said he was sorry for taking my spot (which really wasn’t mine), and I congratulated him on his recent speed success. His speed skiing right now is impressively fast. After talking to him for a few minutes, we both came to the conclusion that he really had to be on his game to qualify since he was starting 59th. In the last five years, only one person has qualified from that far back at Beaver Creek. Markus Larsson did it twice in 2005 and 2006 from 67th and 62nd, respectively. Warbird ended up blowing out on the 4th gate so that was unfortunate and painful to watch.

As for the forerunner, first run I skied well up top and then went onto my hip for a second half way down as I was trying to cut off the line. In between the first and second run, I had a chance to chill out and remember that I was going to take another run on a perfect course. When the course is in such good shape it is way more fun to start first than in the 40s. Second run, I had a good run and when I crossed the line I had a big smile on my face.

Then we watched Zamansky score his first World Cup points in North America finishing in 25th place. Leif Haugan ended up finishing 19th, while Ted Ligety took 4th (he really hates finishing 4th). Carlo Janka completely crushed the weekend winning all three World Cups at Beaver Creek (the combined, downhill, and GS).

After the race, I went up to the timing hut to retrieve my times and they told me if I raced I would have finished 7th. However, they were hand times and after looking at them they really didn’t make any sense. The run that Jimmy blew out his time was good and when he skied well his time was 20 seconds off the pace. To me the times really made no sense, but all I know is that I was taking it deep and making some good turns.

I’m in Chicago right now off to Munich and some Europa Cups races.

Hope all is well, w

posted by Warner at 12/07/2009 08:57:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

Friday, December 04, 2009

So I finally got the call from Sasha. It took so long that I already knew my fate. He explained how he set the criteria as the best podium at Nor-Ams. I was not on the podium so the decision went to discretion. Sasha decided Andrew Weibrecht deserves the final spot. He explained how it wouldn't be fair to give it to me since I didn't meet their criteria and Warbird didn't have the chance to race since he was racing in the Beaver Creek training runs at the time. He is crushing it right now in speed - which is great to see and I'm totally psyched for him - maybe he will do it in GS too, but with his 25.70 GS points it seems like a shot in the dark. After I got off the phone with Sasha, I called Dane to tell him I would be forerunning and he told me he already knew. I guess I was the last to find out.

Sasha did invite me to training tomorrow morning at Vail, but I opted against it for a number of reason.

1. Vail isn't injected, it's hero snow.
2. Getting there in the morning would be a huge chore.
3. I really need to figure out my grip issue on injection.

So I will be skiing with either the Canadians or some young Aspen kids on the injected race hill tomorrow morning.

I guess it's time to completely blow it out forerunning and make the ski team look like a bunch of fools. That's my plan.


posted by Warner at 12/04/2009 11:57:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments


My skis arrived relatively quickly due to the constant help of Allison at Lufthansa baggage services. She totally killed it. They arrived at 5:15 AM last Sunday, just in time for me to prep them and be on the hill at Vail training two hours later. That was the only day of training Dane, Jon Olsson and I were able to muster up before the races. We trained next to the Austrians and the US Men (just Zamansky) with the Vail J2 girls. Our course mirrored theirs so that was nice. The next day we free skied at Copper with my mom and then rolled over to Aspen to check out the piste.

When we arrived it was clear that Aspen was indeed fully injected. Jon, Miles Fink Debray, and I went up to slip around, watch some ladies skiing, and get an idea of just how hard the snow was. I tuned my training skis inconstantly to get idea of what I might need for the races. Both my left edges were tuned with a 5 degree and both of my right edges with a 3 degree. I pretty much always use a 3 degree side bevel for my GS skis so I was interested to see just how much grip I had with the 5 degree. I opted for a 4 degree on all my edges for these races since the snow was really hard.

The competition in Aspen was some of the stiffest I’ve seen in Nor-Am competition.

Both of my first runs were quite good and very similar. I started 3rd both days and was able to attack a solid plan of giving myself an exceptional amount of room at the gate in a few section, which basically means I skied a round line. However, skiing this line gave myself a chance to arc a whole lot more turns and it was exceptionally fast in those sections. Not to mention, starting 3 means that the injection is not nearly as painful as starting later. Going early there is still a thin layer of snow on the track, which gives a whole lot more grip on the ice than starting in the late 20s. The first day I was in 4th after the first run and the second day I was in 3rd after first run. A top 3 either day would have secured a spot in the Beaver Creek GS on Sunday.

Unfortunately, the first day I didn’t have a great plan on the second run and I actually become quite tired halfway down which is always a terrible sign. Either way, I struggled in a few sections and finished in 8th. Tommy Ford was the top American who put together two great runs to finish 3rd behind Marcel Hirscher and JP Roy.

The second day, I had a killer plan and executed it perfectly up top. On the flats before the next big roll I had a perfect line and was is great shape. However, I completely lost my grip. I had no grip for the middle section of the course and frankly, I skied like a J5 for a few gates just barely staying in the course. I got to the bottom and moved back to 7th, but I was the top American. Dumbfounded with my lack of grip. I checked my skis, which were machined tuned in between runs. A section of my right skis was completely dull. I must have hit a rock or something; but either way, it was a disappointment.

Right now I’m in Aspen for the next couple days before I plan to forerun at Beaver Creek. There is still a discretionary spot up for grabs in the GS at Beaver. Rudi the head tech coach said he told Sasha that he thought I should have the spot, but ultimately it’s up to Sasha, not Rudi. Rudi told me Sasha was going to call me last night about his decision, but I still haven’t heard any news. I’ll keep you all in the loop.

Anyway, we had a great stay out here in Aspen at an amazing family friend’s house with my Mom, Dennis, Guy, Dane and Jasmine (Dane’s fiancé).

Take care and hope you’re all doing well, w

posted by Warner at 12/04/2009 03:44:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments