The Canadian World Cup Team is recharged and ready for Davos: Chandra Crawford and Perianne Jones come off a weekend of solid sprint finishes while the rest of the team had a training week of great sun and snow in the northern Alps of Italy.
Currently there are seven members on the team:
Men’s team: Devon Kershaw, George Grey, Ivan Babikov, and Alex Harvey.
Women’s team: Sara Renner, Chandra Crawford, and Perianne Jones.
While Crawford and Jones raced the World Cups in Dusseldorf, Germany, the rest of the team spent a week in Livigno, Italy for a training camp. Livigno is on the northern border of Italy, just an hour and a half from Davos Switzerland, where the upcoming races will be taking place.
The team is planning several of these “rest” weekends throughout the season. As Coach Dave Wood explains, “if we take a weekend off then we can get a solid week of training in. . . and still rest up for the next weekend.”
After travel delays, bad races, and staff issues in Finland two weekends ago left the team feeling drained, they were looking forward to the training camp. A storm that swept through northern Italy on Sunday and Monday left 50cm of fresh snow, which led to some fantastic ski conditions for the team.
After being in Livigno for several days Kershaw wrote*, “Last weekend seems nothing but a bad dream now. . . What an incredible place to recharge and refocus.. . .There’s nothing quite like the Italian sunshine too. Skiing under the awe-inspiring yet calming peaks of the Italian Alps, laughing with my teammates, and eating just an absurd amount of the World’s best food – things are definitely turning around and we are in a sea of positivity.”
The rest of the team was unanimous in their enthusiasm for the week, citing the amazing accommodations, food, and skiing.
Over the weekend Grey wrote on his twitter account that he had a really tough intensity session at 1900’ elevation and also that he “Bagged another 4hrs of the best training ever!”
Kershaw agreed on his account, saying “Livigno is amazing! Tons of snow, great tracks, sunshine and the best food on earth. We are all loving it.”
Harvey concurred, tweeting, “Livigno is the same old…sunny and blue skies, firm tracks, hot Italian girls and A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. food. What’s not to love?!”
And before leaving Babikov tweeted, “Last day in Livigno, that was THE BEST camp ever…BOOM.”
Meanwhile, Crawford and Jones were in Dusseldorf competing in the individual and team sprint races. Crawford explained that she had good feelings going into the weekend because she had raced at the venue three times before and always had good results, including her first-ever world cup points in 2005. Her goal coming into the weekend was to make the Olympic qualifying benchmark and she did just that, placing 12th in the individual sprint. Jones, who is just getting the first couple World Cup races under her belt, had a very solid race. She was just a half second out of qualifying for the finals, finishing in 35th place.
When asked about the health of the team Wood said that even though Babikov had a “close call” with a sore throat, “We’ve had a pretty good week. We’ve had some long training and some hard training and overall things have gone quite well.”
The team physiotherapist, Ronny, was the only one to get sick. He did not know if he had the flu or just a bad cold, but he returned home to Norway this morning, a week earlier than he had planned to leave the team.
The team headed to Davos this morning to train and prepare for the weekend’s races. The usual plan is to run the weekly intensity session three days before their main race, and Saturday’s distance racers (the four men plus Sara Renner) completed a session shortly after arriving in Davos this morning. Tomorrow the distance racers will have a very easy day, while sprinters Crawford and Jones will complete their own intensity session. Friday will be a course inspection and ski test.
Crawford and Jones will be the only ones sitting out of the distance skate races on Saturday, and the whole team will race in the individual skate sprints on Sunday.
*Kershaw’s comments from Ronny Starkman’s Olympic Blog