As expected, our American teammates finished in the middle of the pack of the field of 88 racers. I made this little video that shows a tight European battle at the last transition and some photos of the US racers. I was going to add some commentary..but I don’t have a microphone on my computer…so I couldn’t. Click here for a full list of race results.
Today was the Individual Short Race at the SMWC 2008 in Switzerland. We only have four spots for each race so we signed up our fast guys for the event and unfortunately that doesn't include me. But let me tell you, it's a lot more fun (and less painful) watching the race from the slopes and cheering on your teammates rather than sucking wind and dealing with failing skins and skiing fast in light weight gear. It's a good thing too since my euro-breakfast of yogurt and oats, with pasta and coffee gave me the cold sweats on the twisty drive over to the race start. I think I'll stick to ProBars from now on…I know I can count on them to treat me right.
Anyway, we got to the start just in time to see the women take off on what looked like a steep beginning to the race. Zahan and I decided to work our way towards the top of the course in order to see the race from a better vantage point before the men's race began. We got about half way up by the time the racers caught us and Frenchman Florent Perrier was out in front and looking to gap the rest of the field. It was a bit longer until we saw the US racers and Cary was leading, with Ethan, Brandon, and Kroger not too far behind. We cheered on a few more racers, like our Canadian friends, Aaron Chance and Mike and Andy Traslin.
We toured a bit higher and situated ourselves at the top of the only bootpack in the race and arrived just in time to see the male leaders top out…and start to catch the females who had started a half hour earlier. It was great to see the camaraderie of the larger teams as non-racing members would run along their teammates and cheer them on…showing what being on a team is all about. At this point in the race, Brandon had passed Cary and we were able to inspire Chris Kroger to make a move and pass two racers before a narrow ridge section. Mona led for the US women, with Lyndsay holding her own.
After some more racers passed, we moved to the top of the last transition and saw Florent Perrier pull in and out all by himself and solidify the overall victory. The stoke meter was pumped as three racers battled for what I think was 6-8th position, and the fans loved the fierce competition. We waited in anticipation to see who would be in front for the American men and were psyched to see fellow J-Holer Cary Smith reclaim the position as first North American before the final descent.
Tomorrow night is the Team Relay and me, Todd Glew, Zahan Billimoria, and Bryan Wickhauser will represent the US and race in that order. I love starts…so I really wanted to go first. The next day is the Team Event and Zahan and I are paired up. It might take a day or two to find some time to update TetonAT…so stay tuned. Sorry…but I'm doing the best I can. Au Revoir!