They’re set. Racing!

Half an Adventure

That’s right folks, despite the Alps having perhaps their worst December ever for snow conditions, I managed to ski on real snow, albeit produced by a snow cannon, outdoors. Regardless of the snow situation, my adventures continue:

Racing

Friday, Saturday and Sunday were the first races of the Alpen Cup, the Continental Cup series for central and western Europe. This means that the best elite skiers, apart from those racing in World Cup that weekend, from countries such as Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France were present. In addition, people from many other countries turn up, including World Championship and Olympic medal winners like Alexey Poltoranin (Kazakhstan), Ilia Chernousov (Russia) and Justyna Kowalczyk (Poland). Apparently 26 nations were represented on the weekend, with almost 500 racers across all divisions competing on Sunday. Basically, it was big, and very competitive.

This guy is actually wearing a one-piece lycra suit. I had to snap a photo as he went past! This guy is actually wearing a one-piece lycra suit. I had to…

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Paul Kovacs 16th in FIS Besh Cup Distance Race

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Paul Kovacs finished his pre-Christmas racing block with a 16th place in the 15km skate event held in Anchorage as part of the Besh Cup series.

Out of a field of 87 skiers PK gained his second top 20 in two days finishing 2:58 behind winner Scott Patterson from APU and only one second behind former US Junior Champion Logan Hanneman. Continue reading

Race Report #1 + some Ice Hockey Action

AUSXC Junior Development Tour

Friday the 19th of December saw three of our athlete’s race in the Nor-Am Cup classic sprint, hosted by Sovereign Lake. The Nor-Am (or North American) Cup is one of the competitions organised by the International Ski Federation, taking place in various locations across Northern America. The race also provides athletes with the chance to qualify for larger competitions like World Juniors Championships and World Cup events. The sprint course was a 1km loop around the stadium, consisting of two main climbs and some tricky corners, definitely new challenges that have not been experienced back home in AUS.

Our three athletes, Stella Ajani, Matthew Bull and Finlay Clarke, competed in the junior boys and girls sections. Despite minimal time on skis the athletes managed to produce some amazing results even with tough competition. Big thanks to the rest of the team whose cheering was a huge help for the…

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DAVOS WORLD CUP 2.0 – Bottomley 52nd, Bellingham 62nd, Bursill 76th

Before I start this report I have been instructed by the athletes to give a huge thank-you to Fabian Mauz who has volunteered his time and expertise to provide waxing and managerial support to the World Cup team over the last two weeks. Being unsupported whilst racing World Cup is a challenge for even the most experience campaigner and thus everyone is extremely grateful for the help and support Fabian has provided.

The World Cup circuit remained in Davos for a second weekend in a row and consisted of a 10/15km skate and a skate sprint. Australia had three athletes, Esther Bottomley, Phillip Bellingham and Jackson Bursill race the sprint event. The course and conditions were very similar to the Davos World Cup 1.0 held last weekend.

Esther Bottomley after winning the 2013 national sprint race, her 15th national sprint title.

Esther Bottomley achieved her best result so far this season by finishing in 52nd place, 16 seconds or 10% behind winner Marit Bjoergen of Norway. Esther was three second or 2% closer to the winner this weekend compared to last weekend. The result shows she is improving week to week and on the way to back to her previous best.

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Nick Montgomery back to near best in Hochfilzen

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After two frustrating days of racing Nick Montgomery returned to near his best in the 15km skate OPA Cup in Hochfilzen. Nick finished in 114 place 22% behind the winner. On the surface this may not seem like that good a results but in context of the field and the quality of the top five it is a very strong showing.

“I had a better day today despite racing in some challenging conditions. 10cm of fresh snow had covered the slop underneath, but with 500 competitors (including women and juniors) each doing 2-4 laps the surface became very hard and glazed. The skis I was using were not suited to the hard stuff so I lost a bit of time there.

All up I raced fairly consistently and am mostly happy with my result, but definitely looking to build on it in the next few weeks.” – Nick Montgomery Continue reading

Paul Kovacs 14th in FIS Conoco Phillips Besh Cup Sprint

In arguably his best sprint result so far this season Paul Kovacs raced himself in the top 15 in the opening race of Alaska’s Conoco Phillips Besh Cup Series. The event was a skate sprint held at Kincaid Park in Anchorage. In attendance, the top Alaskan skiers which according to most Alaskans is the same as saying in attendance was the top American skiers. An arrogant statement but one not too far from the truth.

In PK’s own words: “The sprint race went well, I was happy to make the heats and get the chance to race head to head against a high standard of competition. Kincaid Park is amazing and the course was the best sprint course I’ve raced since I arrive in the U.S. My heat was fast and myself a University of Alaska Anchorage skier and an APU athlete were jostling for first as we headed out of the stadium. Around the final corner into the last climb I was boxed out and was pushed into third which is where I ended up.”

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Emulating the lifestyle of Fatboy slim.

AUSXC Junior Development Tour

The 2013 hit single ‘Eat Sleep Rave Repeat’ by Fatboy Slim was not only a fresh beat; it also suggested that following a lifestyle centred around four concepts leads to success. The four values we have decided to premise our trip on are:

Eat sleep rave train repeat

Eating

Our first encounter of Canadian food was at the famous Tim Horton’s, a place that will always be remembered as the place where Kate received her superstar ATAR (kudos Kate). After leaving, despite the urge to hit the slopes ASAP, we had to brave the horrors of bulk food shopping in the ‘Canadian Superstore’ (Costco on steroids). We approached shopping like a training session, following a game plan, seeking efficiency and getting the job done. In no time we crammed back into our beast-mobile we have named the ‘Fatboy S-limousine,’ surrounded by suitcases, ski bags and enough no-name food to keep…

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