We're in Predazzo, Italy now, after spending the first week of the trip in Kranj, Slovenia. For the first half I think we accomplished our goal: lots of good jumps on the hill in Kranj, along with testing out some new equipment.
We didn't get out and do too much in Kranj, but some of us did experience a Slovenian mall one afternoon.
Sunday we had a gorgeous drive over mountain passes from Slovenia to Italy. Monday we took the day off from jumping and rollerskied up one of the nearby mountain passes, Passo Laveze, then ran on the Nordic ski trails at the top to make it a good 3 hour distance workout.
Warming up for jumping Tuesday felt like a competition with all the other nations around. That's one of the great aspects of training in Europe - seeing the other teams training. Today, we had the Austrian Nordic Combined team and the German special jumping team in particular to watch. The American and Canadian jumpers were also here. They left the same day that our girls jumping team came in. It's nice to have some English speaking friends around when we're hanging out after training.
Comp day today. The German NC team is doing an 8 - hill tournee as they travel throughout Europe at various training sites. We hopped in their jumping competition today, but did our own race, since we they have "Ferrari" fast rollerskis and were racing somewhere else. We raced up the base of Alpe Cermis - one of the nearby ski mountains that is famous (within our world) for it's brutally steep hill climb in the final day of the Tour de Ski.
The jump competition did not exactly go great for myself and the whole team. It was actually good for us to see the level that the German team is at, but the reality is that we've got a bit of work to do before the winter. Ski jumping can change quickly though and there's no reason that all of us can't be at that level soon.
The race was, to be expected, really steep `equally tough. It was only 3.5km and took me exactly 20 minutes. I haven't seen results yet but I finished 7th and had the 5th fastest race time while Johnny got the win.
After a tough, rainy morning, there was nothing more satisfying than a hot shower and a steaming bowl of risotto! We're here until Saturday after jumping. The last stop of the trip is Stams, Austria, just outside of Innsbruck.
Where am I?