Saturday, December 19, 2009
I'm still wearing the two pairs of long underwear i put on yesterday. They never came off. After Kaylin landed 22nd in yesterday's super combined in Val d'Isere (which is in the French Alps). We jumped in the car and bolted for Pozza di Fassa (which is the Italian Dolomites). It was snowing. We got in at 3 a.m. i left my bags in the car.
I was supposed to crash in room 208 for a few hours. i couldn't find it, but 217 was open and i went for it. Up at six bells and over one of the most unbelievable mountain passes i've ever seen and i just had breakfast with Virgil, Christa and Mick at the Alpino Plan in Val G. They have some pretty good coffee here.
The Saslong Classic downhill starts in a few hours...no chace would i miss this. Here's the notes:
Val Gardena, Italy - The Saslong Classic downhill
- The Saslong, which is actually an enourmous rock, is one of the most incredible downhill tracks in all of ski racing. A rollercoaster from start to finish, there's over 20 spots where the boys get light. At one point for over the length of a football field - at 80 mph. Two years ago, i shot a vid of Mr. Nyman, who won the thing in '06. He definitely describes it best: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMJgrk8KWX4
- It will be tough to match last years historic five Yanks in the top 10 and seven in the points. The guys are a little banged up - Bode's ankle, Mac's back is still a bit sore, Steven just got back on snow in Nov. BUT, it's possible. Bode has still been fast, this hill was built for Marco, Steven was 4th in the first training sesh and Fish made a name for himself on this hill last year with a Warhorse-esque run from 52 to 7. And speaking of Andrew, he's been in the top 15 of every speed race this season - including yesterday.
- Bibs: Fish 4, Sully 5, Bode 22, Esteban 24, Horse 29, Mac 32 and Worm 48. Thanks for the coffee Babs.
We're stacking them quick and hot and this baby doesn't start until 6:15 a.m. ET, so do what you need to do to get Universal Sports streaming through your plasma.
Val d'Isere, France - women's downhill
- Pretty sure i made this point yesterday, but it's worth a mention again. LV has won three consecutive DH runs on the OK piste. Four straight if you count her 2006 win. She took yesterday's speed portion of the super combi by 1.52 seconds for her 25th WC win. You get the picture. She has bib 19.
- Jules is downright angry and she should be. She knows she's fast on this hill. She's won on this hill and was third in the first DH trainer. She was nuking the top yesterday and went BIG off the first jump causing her to get way inside on the next turn and went out. That's not going to happen today. Watch No. 23.
- Now, here's were it's really going to get exciting. Last season i went to St. Moritz with this Team and the men dog piled the points in Val Gardena. I don't gamble - never bought a lotto ticket - but Cookie starts 2, Alice 7, Leanne 36, Chelsea 41 and Keely 44. All of these girls have been top 20. If they ski the way they all know we can, well, the story will tell itself and i'll be just fine with missing it.
A 10 piece brass band just fired it up outside the men's hotel, that's my cue. Women actually start earlier than the boys at 4:45 a.m. ET. Good thing for you, Universal Sports has on-demand streaming. Be resiliant, don't check the results first...just watch the race.
Whoa! The band just moved into the hotel to play a good luck song for Bode. Don't believe me? Check this out: http://usskiteam.mobilerider.com/flash/player/index.php?vendor_id=626&video_id=24897