THE TOUR DE SKI HAS BEGUN!!!!
This is one of my favorite times of year, racing in the Tour de Ski. It is a big traveling circus of cross country skiers and staff that just set up shop, race, take down shop, travel, set up shop, race, take down shop, travel, etc for 9 days. It's so much fun and this year we have a pretty big crew for these first 4 stages. A lot of people will drop out after the races here, as 3 of the first 4 races were either sprints or a prologue. Noah, Jessie, and I plan to complete the whole Tour, which is 7 stages in 9 days, finishing with the climb up Alp Cermis in Italy. So far we have completed the first 2 stages, the skate prologue which kicks things off and a skate sprint, which was supposed to be a 10k classic, but due to lack of snow in Oberhof, the format was changed. I actually was pretty excited, as I never get to sprint, and tomorrow is another skate sprint as well, so lots of practice. I qualified in my only ever WC sprint last year in Val Mustair, Switzerland, and yesterday I was 32nd, 2 places from qualifying, so I am really excited to get another crack at it tomorrow.
We hosted a white elephant gift exchange in our apartment on the 23rd and invited a bunch of different athletes from all different countries and it was super fun. Jessie baked about 6 different types of Christmas cookies as well, which were delicious!
Me and Noah on Christmas morning opening our cards from our second family, the Moore's.
Delicious Christmas morning gingerbread cake, courtesy of Jessie!
Stockings that santa filled, which looked suspiciously like Jessie's socks....
Jessie's new bag tag:)
The chain gang. On our way to Oberhof from Davos it started snowing really hard and to get down the pass we needed to chain up...all 4 tires on our 2 wheel drive van. Perhaps a new set of tires would have been a good start!
From snowy Davos to rainy, warm Oberhof, Germany where we skied in the ski tunnel as the track was closed the day before the races. No preview was necessary, as the course was only 1500 meters long! The races were changed, as the weather in Oberhof was so bad leading up to the races that they were not able to blow snow. Given the weather conditions, the volunteers really made these races happen. Props for sure.
Training in the tunnel.
Noah and Simi's friend from Aspen is a teacher of an 8th grade class who made us all Christmas cards and wished us all good luck in the Olympics and for the season. These kinds of things are really special to us, so a huge thanks to the Aspen class!!
Our ice tub was already set up in our hotel in Oberhof!
And then we woke up in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, and it looked like this. YES!
Bomber tracks, perfect sun, beautiful mountains, which were made even sweeter by the fact that the last 4 days were pretty tough.
Langlaufing. (German for xc skiing) It's the thing to do here. And I'm PUMPED!