This is the fifth installment of a seven part series in which the U.S. Ski Team’s Noah Hoffman recounts his 2010-2011 season.
I’ve been very busy since my last update in Davos. The last two race weekends on the World Cup didn’t go as well as the start of the trip. I did more training in Davos than I did in Scandinavia and I was a little tired for the races. However, my teammates had some great results, and I had a great time cheering them on!
Simi Hamilton had his best World Cup finish ever with a 16th place!
Kikkan Randall was 3rd! Kikkan has been on the podium consistently this year, and two weeks ago she won a race in Liberec, Czech Republic. Last week she was leading the World Cup Sprint standings, the first American to do so in 24 years!
Morgan Arritola and Liz Stephen finished 18th and 19th in La Clusaz, France. It was their best ever World Cup finishes.
After the fall Europe trip I flew straight back to Boulder to work on technique with one of my coaches, Zach Caldwell. It was really productive to ski with Zach, get away from the World Cup scene, and focus on the basics. I had planned four days in Boulder, but I didn’t feel ready to get back to racing and carry the lessons forward after that time. So, I decided to stay in Boulder for two extra days, even if that meant skipping Christmas at home. Luckily, my aunt and uncle were having Christmas dinner at their house with my grandparents in the Denver area, so I was able to join them for a very nice evening.
After all the technique work, I only had four days left at home before hitting the road again. I made sure to fit in as much as possible including celebrating a late Christmas with my family, hanging out with my sister, and meeting my friend Zeke’s new baby girl!
On December 30th it was off again to Rumford, Maine for US Nationals. The snow was very thin in the East, but the organizers in Rumford pulled off great championships.
This was the first day of competition, and they didn’t get any more snow the rest of the week!
My form was headed in the right direction at US Nationals where I opened the week with a 15th in the classic sprint. I then skied to 7th in the classic 15km and 3rd in the 30km freestyle. My good friend Tad Elliot won the 30km by a 10th of a second over Lars Flora. I was only 3 seconds back, so it was a really tight field!
After US Nationals Tad and I spent a week in Lake Placid, New York. My form kept improving with a 2nd and a 1st in the SuperTour races there.
A week ago I arrived back in Europe for the second Euro trip of the year. This one is going to be long because I got named to the World Championship Team and don’t head home till March 14th! Last week we did a training camp in Vierumaki, Finland. The weather was a little grey, but the trails were in perfect condition, and they were right out our door. There was also a bowling alley in our hotel. We had a showdown between the American and Canadian U23/Junior teams. Each team had some stars, but I think the Americans had the consistency. There were also some indoor tennis courts and four of us got together and played some doubles.
It was nice to get away from the snow for awhile!
We took a day to go to Lahti, Finland to check out the town and the ski stadium. It is probably the second most famous Nordic venue in the world after Holmenkollen in Oslo, Norway (site of World Championships.)
On Sunday we drove down to Helsinki then took the ferry across the Gulf of Finland to Estonia.
I always enjoy ferries, especially in icy waters!
We are now in Otepaa, Estonia where the U23 and Junior World Championships start tomorrow with the junior distance skate races. The team is healthy (for the most part), and I think there is potential for some outstanding results here. The courses are really fun, and I’m looking forward to my races tomorrow and Monday.
I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks as always for your continued support!
The US Ski Team’s Noah Hoffman spent most of the winter racing in Europe, with stints back in the United States for National Championships and the SuperTour Finals. With two top-30’s at World Championships in Oslo, Norway leading the way, Noah had his best season to date, adding strong performances on the World Cup and U23 World Championships.
Along the way, Noah sent periodic updates back to friends and family – a digital diary documenting the entire 2010-2011 training and racing season. The journey started over a year ago with the end of the 2010 campaign and a trip to New York City. With stops in Bend, Oregon, Lake Placid, New York, Finland, Latvia, Estonia and Norway among others, Noah had plenty to write home about before he wrapped things up in Sun Valley, Idaho this April at the SuperTour Finals.
He has graciously shared these updates with FasterSkier, providing a unique year-long perspective on the life of an elite ski racer. We will publish Noah’s updates in serial form, with a new one coming every few days.
The Hoffman Chronicles