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» Les Orres, FRA

As the title says, it’s been a long difficult trip this year in Europe. Three weeks over here is a relatively short trip compared to the past years, but the difference this year was the crazy amount of racing jammed into those three weeks. Last year I was over here for a month and I did three races.

This year I arrived on the night of the 9th, trained the 10th and 11th, did DH training runs on the 12/13th, DH races on the 14/15th. Raced a slalom on the 16th, GS on the 17th. Finally had a day off on the 18th. Trained on the 19th, GS races on the 20/21st, followed by two SG races on the 22nd. One day off and one travel day on the 23/24th. Which finally leads me to where I am now in Les Orres where I’ve done 2 DH training days (25/26th) and a DH race yesterday. 13 races (including DH training runs) in 19 days. Phew, just looking at that and I now realize why I am so completely wiped out. I was supposed to race a second DH today but I am so fatigued, mentally and physically that I pulled myself from the race to take a few GS training runs and try to get some feelings back for the final race of the trip: a SG tomorrow.

The trip started off fairly well in Patcherkofel, which I wrote about earlier. Moving on from there I did a FIS slalom in Lenggries, where I was 2nd in the second run! Definitely a step in the right direction in slalom. Following that was a Europa Cup GS, where I fell which was disappointing. After that was a FIS race in Kirchberg that did go alright. It was stacked full of World Cup guys (many of them top-30 GS skiers) and I finished 14th, not too far off the pace. After that the fatigue of all the racing and travelling has sort of taken over and my skiing and results have gone downhill.

The thing that makes a schedule like this so tough in Europe is that after each event that we’ve done, we’ve had to drive 2+ hours (sometimes 5 or 8) to the next stop, immediately following the race. That means your muscles don’t get to recover and you get very little decent rest.

Needless to say I’m looking forward to getting home and getting some rest! I’ll be home for a week, possibly up at MSM for a day to forerun, and then off to Whistler to forerun the Olympic Downhill and Super Combined!

The first few gates of the Les Orres Downhill

Nice scenery behind the start

Questionable signage?