January 21st, 2013
Wengen, Switerland, sits nestled into the side of the alps only accessible by train and home to the notorious Lauberhorn Downhill and Slalom race. Personally I think it is the most beautiful stop on the World Cup Tour (as a competitor maybe a bit of a logistical nightmare to say the least). The Wengen ski resort and Downhill run sits below the famous Eiger known around the world as one of the toughest mountains to climb.
I skied in the Super Combined on Friday (combination of times for one downhill run and one slalom run). I came in 13th in the Downhill portion, so I felt good about my chances going into the slalom race, with a decent buffer over the slalom specialists. I skied pretty well in the SL run and was close to even with the eventual winner Alexis Pinturault until 3 gates from the finish when my ski fell off; a freak accident. Bummer. I was happy though for Alexis Pinturault to get the win adding to Shred’s World Cup win count, which is currently the most of any other helmet/goggle company.
I had set myself the goal of; top 10 in the DH portion of the Super Combi to race the DH, but since I fell just short of my self imposed criteria I skipped the DH to rest and to spectate the race live.
Wengen is said to get a crowd of 40,000 lined along the whole course. It is reachable for spectators from a train ride up to the top of the mountain (or helicopter from valley to start) and spectators travel along the course with skis, sleds or by foot. I skied down along the side of the track with the throngs of fans, who were boozing it up and setting up little fondue picnics along the course. As a spectator this would be an awesome sports experience to fully partake in whether you are a ski fan or not.
Another Sunday and another Slalom which is the theme for this time of year. I finished 13th, which interestingly enough is what I started, finished after first run and am in the year’s SL standings. I skied among the fastest for sections but made strings of costly mistakes as is the story of my SL season. Hopefully I can clean that up this weekend in Kitzbuhel. I’m racing the Downhill, Super G, and Slalom.