It’s Tuesday, February 3, 2009 and I’m back in Ruhpolding, Germany after a two-week swing through the southern part of “Biathlon World”. Our latest world cup took place in Antholz, Italy – a beautiful venue and one of my favorite courses to race. It’s sits high up in a mountain valley, about as far north as you can get without hitting Austria. Even though the venue is at about 5,000 feet above sea level, I still enjoy the racing here because the course flows really well. Most of the climbs are longer gradual V2 sections and there are a lot of transitions. This is quite different from other world cup venues like Oberhof and Ruhpolding which feature steeper ascents and descents.
Although my ski time (compared to the rest of the field) improved in the Antholz 10km Sprint, I had an awful day on the shooting range and fell out of contention for the 12.5km Pursuit the following day. This was a big dissapointment but it forced me to step back and re-evaluated my training going in to World Championships in South Korea. It was nice to see Tim come back to form, placing 15th and 11th in the Sprint and Pursuit.
So now, I find myself back in Ruhpolding, Germany, preparing for the biggest races of the year, World Championships. We’ve spent the week focusing on longer intensity sessions and a lot of highly-monitored shooting training. Ruhpolding is a great venue, both during it’s annual World Cup event but also as a place to train. The staff is passionate about creating world-class skiing and shooting range conditions whether it is World Cup Race Day, or just another training day for the local Bavarian teams.
Just a few more days here, and then we head across four more time zones to Pyeong Chang, South Korea!