Racing, eating, sleeping, traveling, and the search for internet were just some of the activities of last week in Antholz, Italy. I've raced the WC in Atholz before back in 2009, but never with as much chance of success as this time around. Italians take a lot of pride in there food. I shamefully succumbed to a head cold that I really want to be over and done with right now. The trip too and from wasn't as exhausting as it should have been, if that makes any sense and that elusive internet doesn't bode well with northern Italy.The last time I did a sprint in Antholz I missed six. The coaches were optimistic and pleased that I had a top 70 ski time. I was 21 at the time and it was my first real WC tour. This time around the situation was different. I had a top 40 point field to go after. I didn't make it in by finishing 43rd on the day, but it was the closest I've ever been on a normal standard race day. I couldn't feel my hands in prone. The only thing I could feel was the altitude and uncertainty while I set up for prone. I took my time, but was able to get out with only one miss. By the time I made it through another loop the blood flow in my hands was back up and running. Confidence was better and I was planning on a clean stage... Well, I was close. I missed my last shot and kicked my self for it in the penalty loop. Ski speed was solid with a 28th ranked loop time. After words I did the math and concluded that I would have been somewhere around 32nd had I not missed that last one. Never the less it was a good race and the successful season continued.
Food consisted of a four course meal. Breakfast was your classic euro style set up that I love so much. Lunch and dinner always started with a salad. The only kind of salad dressing you are permitted in Italy is olive oil. This is better than it sounds. Trust me there are a lot of ways to have some olive oil. After that it could be anything from salmon to duck to pasta with homemade noodles. All of this was presented to us in style. I honestly don't care for this kind of overkill, but it does make eating a little more interesting.
The team split up last Tuesday. Some were off to Canmore, some were staying in Antholz and some were on there way to Osrblie, Slovakia. We met up with the rest of the team at the Munich airport. The worst way to travel is to travel sick. I'm not sure where or how, but I caught a cold last weekend. I really don't like being sick. It never gets any easier to deal with. No matter what you do there is no 100% chance of staying healthy all season and once you do get sick there is nothing more effective than resting and just waiting it out. I took some half baked naps in the car. You know those naps that you wake up from and have no idea where you are or what's going on? When you're heading east across Europe and wake up from a nap it doesn't matter how well you slept you'll literally have no idea where you are located. The whole drive took us about ten hours. Thankfully, after all these years you start to realize that getting stressed over directions or potential blood clots have no benefit what so ever. I only wish others on the team realized this to. The best you can do is just sit back and accept that traveling is large component of this sport.