Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas and the Tour!

The afternoon after the classic team sprint in Asiago, my family and I drove to Ramsau, Austria to spend Christmas. We were lucky to have sun almost the whole time we were in Ramsau. There wasn't a ton of snow, but there was enough to enjoy plenty of skiing and the weather and conditions were quite the treat after Asiago. I still wasn't feeling 100% healthy, so I didn't get to ski as much as I would have liked to, but it was nice to rest and to be able to enjoy the company of my family while I did that. We were also able to do a handful of non-skiing things like visit Schladming and the Salzburg Christmas markets. It was the perfect break to get me recharged and excited to be back with my teammates to start the Tour de Ski.

My mom usually hates to be in photos, so we attacked her for this one

Sver striding out


Christmas Markets with Aust

Pretzels the size of your face!

Christmas dinner

Merry Christmas from the USST girls and our stuffed animals!
Our final morning in Ramsau
The first stop of the Tour de Ski was in Oberhof, Germany. Everything I had heard about Oberhof was less than glamorous and it definitely lived up to its reputation. That said, the organizers did an amazing job working with what they had to be able to pull off two races. There wasn't any snow there, so volunteers worked extremely hard to be able to put down a 1.5k loop that would last through the weekend. The distance race had to be shortened, so we had a 3k skate prologue and a skate sprint. I ended up having two of my best races of the season! I was 9th in the prologue and I qualified 5th in the skate sprint and went on to finish 22nd in the heats. Some other highlights of the weekend were that Jessie was 5th in the prologue and Andy finished 10th in the skate sprint. After the sprint on Sunday, we packed up and made the long drive to Lenzerheide, Switzerland. We didn't get in until around midnight and woke up to beautiful perfect Switzerland weather. Not bad at all! We have a skate sprint today and a 10k classic tomorrow. After the classic race, a handful of us will be dropping out of the tour, but be sure to keep cheering for our teammates who are sticking it out for the whole thing!

Trying to keep warm before our windy jog around Oberhof

It's been awesome to have Zuzanna Rogers and Steph Caverhill here to work on us. Thank you so much for being here!

Jessie leading her heat in Oberhof (Marcel Hilger photo)

Opening ceremonies (Marcel Hilger photo)

I was in a heat with all Germans! (Nordic Focus photo)
Tunnel skiing in Oberhof
I see (a little) snow!
Waking up to Switzerland!