Today marked the “unofficial” opening of the winter season – at least in my mind. It wasn’t the World Cup Opener; that’ll have to wait until next week. Instead, Norway kicked off the 2015/16 winter season with the first of two races here in Sjusjoen. This wasn’t your average pre-season time-trial. The Norwegian, German, French and many other nations were here, complete with full wax teams, coaching staffs, and the “Big Rig” wax trucks which have become the norm on the International circuit these past few years. NRK (Norwegian Television) broadcast the entire race live to a primetime audience throughout Norway. I guess we have a little ways to go before we’re broadcasting our pre-season time trials on NBC saturday afternoons in the USA… but hey, I’d rather watch biathlon than just about any other thing on TV!
After four days on snow, I was less than perfectly comfortable on skis, but I was happy with the ski speed and felt like the race went reasonably well. I did struggle in standing, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Leif is going to jump in the Mass Start tomorrow while the rest of the team will take a rest day and begin the final preparation for the World Cup start in Ostersund next week.
Perhaps the biggest news of the day was the US debut of the new World Cup race uniforms. Bold… yes. Beautiful? Well, I’ll leave that up to the fans to decide! Let the comments begin!
We’ve made it to Sjusjoen and the morning dawned clear-blue, sunny, and crisp. The Norwegian weather has turned wintry in the last two days and the tracks are skiing really well now. Here’s a few pics from this morning’s training.
Here’s a few photos from this weekends final roller ski biathlon races in Jericho, VT. I’ve posted mostly race pics, but I couldn’t help including a goof-off shot taken in the morning before we really got down to the serious business! Thanks to my wife, Erika Bailey for snapping some great pics at the races this weekend! The weather was perfect; sunny skies, brilliant foliage, and just enough wind to make things interesting on the range. I’m back home for a few day before we head to Utah for our annual October dry land camp at Soldier Hollow Olympic Biathlon Center. Happy Fall! -LB
Although the rest of the team will be competing in Czech this week, I have chosen to stay in Inzell, Germany and get some training in before the Oslo world cup. Last week, I came down with something resembling the flu and was unable to get on skis for almost a week. It’s been a gradual road to recovery over the past nine days, but I am finally feeling better and feel like I have turned the corner. The positive thing is that the conditions are perfect here in Bavaria. Check out the pictures above from a recent classic ski, just outside my door at Rauschbergblick Hotel and Cabins in the Inzell Valley.
The first day in Hochfilzen brought sunny skies and green running terrain. Without much snow, we decided to hit the surrounding trails for a distance run. The venue is hard at work getting and artificial snow loop ready. We’ll be skiing on a white ribbon of snow by tomorrow morning! Here’s a few pics from this morning’s run.
Here’s the view from Svjusjoen, Norway just before dawn this morning during the warm up for our interval workout.
Just a few more days in Lake Placid, then across The Pond to Norway on Sunday. Great to meet up with the Amherst College Men’s Soccer team as they swung through town on their way to NCAA’s at St. Laurence this weekend. Good luck this weekend gents!