It started snowing mid-morning yesterday and has yet to stop. This is the biggest storm I’ve been in for several years. We must have gotten close to two feet overnight.
The road over the pass to Cortina, Italy has been closed all day right in front of our hotel.
It made moot any thoughts I had of driving to Cortina to go powder skiing. There was big time snow removal going on all day.
Here’s a comparison picture from yesterday to today of the wax cabins:
We were able to order delicious pizza for lunch. I was incorrect when I predicted that my pizza outing with Sophie Caldwell and Liz Stephen last week would be my last pizza in Italy. Today’s pizza was delicious.
I again waited till the afternoon to head to the venue for my pre-race ski because I wanted the full attention of my technique coach Zach Caldwell and my technician for the weekend, Matt Whitcomb. Interestingly, the Norwegian wax truck isn’t here this week. I wonder if it is on the way to Russia. I believe many of the wax trucks are not going to Russia at all because you cannot drive to the venue, so they would have to park at the bottom of the gondola.
I am really impressed with how many camera placements they have on the distance course. You can get away with airing an individual start cross country ski race (like tomorrow’s race) with very few cameras (as evidenced each year by the races in Davos, Switzerland) because you can show each athlete ski through the same split station. However, I believe the coverage is incredibly boring when they only have a few camera placements. I’m glad they have most of the course covered here.
There are generally two cameras (above) at split stations, one for long range and one for short range shots. Here’s the angle from those two cameras:
Here’s Zach looking quite confused at me taking his picture:
I’m not very good at feeling skis and deciding which pair is best, so I just let Matt and Zach talk it out and come to a conclusion.
Our head wax technician Peter Johansson was out testing glide wax on skate skis.
And here is head coach Chris Grover who was helping Peter.
I felt really good during my ski. I treat my workouts here with Zach just like I do my technique sessions with him when I’m in Putney, Vermont. I don’t have a plan for the session or an agenda while I’m out there. I just go hard while I’m focusing on certain technique cues and ski easy the rest of the time. Zach decides when we’re done, but I’m rarely out there for more than 45 minutes. This method has worked well in the past, as I’ve had some of my best races while Zach is around.
Tomorrow’s race is 15 kilometers individual start classic. It is my last World Cup before the first Olympic race next weekend. I have had disappointing classic results thus far this year, but I am still feeling good about my potential. I believe I can have a top-15 result tomorrow. In order to do that I need to ski smart, start under control and focus on my technique cues. I’m looking forward to the opportunity. The race starts at 2:15 p.m. here in Italy which is 8:15 a.m. on the East coast of the U.S. and 6:15 a.m. in the Rocky Mountains. You can stream the race here. Results will be available here.
Lastly, I have one complaint about Italian hotel rooms. There are too few outlets. There are exactly two outlets in my entire room (including the bathroom). That includes the one for the T.V.