The US Ski Team has regrouped in Davos, Switzerland, with the sprinters joining the distance skiers after the conclusion of the Dusseldorf World Cups.
All skiers are healthy. Lars Flora is recovered from illness that kept him out of the Kuusamo races, and he Liz Stephen, Morgan Arritola, and Kris Freeman have been training in Davos, where the conditions are good. There was no snow a week ago, but a storm moved in just in time. Temperatures have been near freezing.
Training for these athletes has focused on building toward the Olympic Games, without sacrificing much, if any, performance at the current World Cup races.
USST Coach Matt Whitcomb describes Davos as “Sun Valley on HGH.” Trails run from the heart of town, and thousands are out enjoying them.
Coach Justin Wadsworth has returned home with the “regular” (read not H1N1) flu.
The distance skiers lost their bags en route to Davos due to the Finnair strike. Bags arrived several days later, and a local ski shop supplied equipment in the interim. No training was missed.
The sprinters were delayed overnight on their way to Dusseldorf when a bird flew into the engine of their plane on a scheduled stop. The resulting delay for safety checks caused the skiers to miss their next connection, and they did not arrive in Germany until Friday PM.
Andy Newell is recovered after the two sprints in Dusseldorf. He will race the sprint this weekend in Davos. Training for him this week includes a 2.5 hour distance classic tomorrow and intervals on the sprint course on Thursday with strength in the PM.
The sprint course in Davos will be slightly different than last year, but just as long.
Kikkan Randall and Torin Koos are also both healthy and ready to go this weekend.
Goal for Davos according to Whitcomb: “To shake things up. The team is ready to race.”
US wax tech Randy Gibbs has 4338 miles on the current World Cup trip. That’s Fairbanks to Pensacola in a cargo van with 248 pairs of skis. Says Whitcomb “It gives him plenty of time to think about his fantasy ski league strategy.”
Newell has a travel guitar. Liz bought a sled. Pete has a mandolin.
Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.