US NoCo is back on the road and covering some serious ground.
This last weekend we competed at World Cup in Chaikovsky, Russia. Taylor, Brett, Nick, Michael, Coach Greg and I all made the journey into Siberia in the hope of earning some World Cup points. Chalkovsky’s a sweet new venue complete with a sports hotel, full range of jump hill sizes with all the modern touches and a killer XC race venue. But it’s not exactly the easiest place to get to. (Actually it’s about the toughest place on the World Cup…) We got our Russian Visas just in time and made the journey in three solid days, starting with fligts from SLC to JFK to Moscow. We spent New Years in Moscow, then flew deeper into Russia to a city named Perm. From Perm, it was a five hour bus ride through the countryside to Chalkovsky.
We went to bed early on New Year’s eve but did spend some time exploring Moscow and seeing the beautiful architecture near the red square. Lots of people and lots of soldiers out. Walking around Moscow we stuck out like blueberries in our matching jackets in a sea of dark trench coats and faded fur. It’s always cool to see a new city and experience a new culture.
Overall the weekend wasn’t what I was hoping for and it all came down to the jumping on Friday. We only had two training jumps and then the provisional jump (which is also qualification) so we really needed to be on our game right off the bat, which I really wasn’t. I just missed qualification for Saturday by jumping to 51st in provisional. So I spent Saturday spectating and getting ready for Sunday, which isn’t exactly what I was hoping to do. Sunday we woke up to some serious winds but went to the hill in hopes of getting a comp off on the big hill (Friday and Saturday was on the K95). I was one of the few who got a jump off, but they called it after 12 jumpers. This meant we raced off Friday’s provisional jump. So we all started the race much farther back than we would hope, but at leas then they use provisional for the race there’s no cut - everyone gets to race. I skied up to Brett in the race and we worked our way up as much as we could, but we really needed to start closer to the field to be in the thick of the race. I skied the 13th fastest race time and finished in 37th, solid for my first individual World Cup, but short of my goal of getting into the points (top 30).
Taylor was definitely the shining star of the team this weekend. Both days he through down wicked fast races and finished in 6th, from 49th and 43th after the jumping!
It was great to get a chance to compete on World Cup but now it’s back to Continental Cup. We took the long road to Hoydalmso, Norway for next weekend’s competitions.. Bus ride to Perm, Perm to Moscow flight, Moscow to Munich. In Munich we picked up Tyler Smith, one of the NTG athletes and road tripped up to northern Germany, spent the night, then finished off the drive to the far end of Denmark. Short ferry ride from Denmark to Norway then a couple more hours of driving to Hoydalsmo. We’re now five hours behind Chalkovsky time, which seems crazy that occurring to time zones were just about halfway back to the states. (But Russia didn’t quite get their time zones right. In Chalkovsky sunrise came at 10:30 am and then it stayed light until after 6 pm).
After Norway, we will trek back down to Germany and hopefully compete in another weekend of Continental Cups in Klingenthal, Germany. At present they don’t have any snow so we’re crossing our fingers that they can pull it off.
Where am I?