GS training in Tignes 2010

On a continual professional development course, (or as my wife likes to say a ski holiday) in Tignes and once again the weather has been brilliant. It snowed the first two days and we took advantage of the freshies during a warm up day on Sunday. Really quiet on the glacier and quite a few good athletes about, including one or two French word cup skiers. Today was the first day of the race training course I am on. We have 17 people with two top coaches, Mike Barker and Emma Carrick Anderson.  I am in Mike's group and we did some drills to find our feet then straight into some pretty tough gates set on the middle Champagny piste. I thought we would be on the easier Rosolin but with the good conditions the coaches  wanted to stretch us. Around half of the group are taking the Euro Speed test shortly and the others, like myself are just here for some toe in the water type of training. As the photo shows not too busy later in the day! We cracked through till 2 and skipped lunch to take advantage of the great snow. Only a bit of glacier ice poking through in places but I was pretty poor my first two runs and skidding quite a bit and came out on the bottom section. Managed to get it together and had a couple decent runs to finish and quite enjoyed it. Was real cold and I broke a gate clearing and hurt my arm a bit, but lucky the gate just snapped!

After skiing back to the chalet, sharpened my skis and then, horror of horrors a run followed by a half hour of pilates. Completely knackered and its only Day 1!
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Well the last two days have been epic here in Tignes, fresh snow and it is still hammering down! Very difficult conditions to do race training in but we had two full days. I struggled a bit yesterday with the poor visibility, soft snow and ice in our training lane and ended up crashing twice, one knocked the wind out and knocked out a bit of confidence as well... but this morning was great we did some drills in powder snow that are tough enough on a firm piste and everyone got on quite well and had a good session in the gates. It is still snowing very hard here and we had 15cm today. The French national team was super G training and the speeds they hit in the conditions was inspirational. Hopefully the pisteurs will be able to cope with the snow and the hill will be open Thursday.

Having a look at the course after slipping away the fresh snow
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Anyone for one legged javelin turns on a steep off piste pitch? ;-)
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Tons more snow fell during the day, down to resort level
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Our Coach Mike pointing out a Super G racer belting it down the descent piste (which looked almost off piste to me! )
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After another huge dump last night it took a while to get onto the pistes but conditions were fantastic, bluebird sky and no ice underfoot even after lots of runs in the gates. The course did cut up pretty bad and developed some holes that were scary at 40 mph. One bad crash and concussion from one of the girls but everyone was skiing well now that we could see a bit!  I managed one decent run and felt fast about 2/3 the time and only a few skiddy turns in the middle steep section.  The timing gear is coming out tomorrow and with a few of the class going straight onto a Eurotest in a few weeks will be interesting to see how they are doing.

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Not too busy on the race stade.
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Found lots of fresh powder and managed knee deep in places on the final run down...
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