More as it develops :)
- 436 Posts. Joined 1/2005
- Location: Where there's snow
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More as it develops :)
Great day for the Canadians for sure - not just the men in Lake Louise, but a couple good results in Aspen with Goodman skiing solidly on a tough course, and Erin Mielzynski finishing in the points in her first WC start, from bib 60 (!), but Kucera's injury put a huge damper on it. Huge blow, and while I have no doubt he'll be back with a vengeance next season, no matter how much they downplay the Olympics, it's gotta be a huge disappointment to miss out on an Olympics on home turf when he was skiing so consistently well that he was a serious medal contender. Big vibes for a quick and easy recovery!
As for the s@#$show that was Aspen, SkiRacing.com's wrap up article notes that the injection has been handed down from upon high by FIS for all women's tech events this season. Presumably to ensure a more consistent and fair surface, combined with the early season man-made snow on a tough hill (and apparently the high altitude and low humidity) it made for an obviously brutal race. 1/3 of the racers didn't finish the first run, and that rate was actually slightly higher in the top 30.
There are definitely some good arguments in favour, but it seems like they've gone overboard in mandating it for every race, rather than making the call based on conditions. Similar to the mandatory heli-evac rule they have now - obviously past experience has shown that having a helicopter on stand-by is a good idea, but it doesn't seem to me that a heli-evac from the slope is necessarily the most efficient or fastest means in every case.
It looked like at LL they were hoisting off the hill, then landing in the parking lot to actually load them in the bird, then off to Banff - not to mention the time spent waiting for the heli, lowering the medic, prepping him for transport, etc. I can see why this would be a good idea in some locations in the Alps, but knowing that location on Lake Louise, I'm pretty confident they would have been faster taking him in a sled to the bottom and loading him directly into the heli.
I think I have to agree, re course conditions. I was at a Nor Am SL at Loveland this morning, with a lot of US Teamers, all of the Canadian techies, plus Mario Matt, Marcel Hirscher, Rainer Schoenfedler, and Marc Berthod, among the Euros. I don't remember, one of top women, it might have been Hoelzl, said Aspen was no big deal because she had been training on similar stuff at Loveland...which was definitely glassy today. The slippers didn't have to do much work today, and the course stayed pretty fair for the whole field (90 starters), and there were actually some decent runs from the end of the pack...and there were some people who struggled. It obviously ain't easy, but super hard stuff like that will separate the best from the rest in terms of athletic ability, skiing skills, and tactics...
I imagine that Bode's right on track, and perhaps a bit ahead of plan, based on when he rejoined the sport, and the USST. That's what I hear and read. Coming off last season with the ankle, having almost no on-snow prep periods this summer, etc., he needs time. Most reports are positive, and suggest that he's getting dialed in as he works himself back into a WC fitness level. It will be interesting, and more telling to see how he's skiing at Bormio, and Wengen in another 4-6 weeks, I think. We shall see. He seems to be working at it, working to fit in as a teammate, and keeping a low profile. I have thought all along that this has to be geared at peaking for the Olympics. Still feel that way. It would be great to see him on the podium, and to see him reverse his diasterous PR episode from Torino. Plus, a great showing, and good image in Vancouver could be a big payday. Maybe not to the extent that it could be for LV, but still big!
Agree on Janka, and Cuche is just terrific. Swiss duo is killing it!