Friday, February 6, 2015

Verbier - Sprint Race

The Sprint race was earlier today and it was awesome! The course was roughly 90 vertical meters and was splint up into three sections; 40 meters of skinning, 20m of booting, and then another 30 meters of skinning. 

The format is a four round qualification.  The first round was a time trail where every racer started 20 seconds apart. From that, the fastest 30 racers made it into the quarter final.  In the quarter final, the two fastest from each of five heats made the semi-finals with the fastest 3 from each semi making the final. No American had ever made it out of the first qualifying round before.  

Last championships Andy was the 31st and missed the quarter finals by a couple tenths of a second.  I'm pretty sure making it out of Qualifying was one of his goals.  
Andy passing his teammate Matt and catching the Women's World Champion who started 40 seconds earlier.
The Qualifying round went well for the US.  Andy was 27th and Max Taam was 30th so the both moved on.  Max looked strong in his quarter-final heat and was mixing it up with the best in the World until the boot pack when the other guys slowly pulled away.  He ended the day with a respectable 30th.

As Andy lined up for his heat the announcer was commenting on the American turn out and while Andy was waving to the crowd the gun went off.  We're not sure if there was any warning but if there was Andy certainly didn't hear it.  I think he was expecting a track and field style start where the starter quiets everyone and then gives a few commands before the gun goes off.  Anyway, after the gun went off and everyone had a few steps on Andy he frantically started.  The following picture will tell the story.

The American goes down!
He then untangled himself and finished.  He had this to say about the day.  

"Well, today went just as planned in some ways and was a disaster in others but that's sport and life. I made it through the prelims and was psyched to see how I'd do against the big boys. As I heard my name announced, I waved to my teammates who were out en force to cheer. The gun suddenly went off without warning while the announcer was still talking. Frantic, I crashed right out of the gate and worked hard to get butt naked last (in my heat but 24th overall). Not much to say other than I had a good time, made myself hurt, and learned a lot. Now I can cheer on my buddies and go ski!"

All in all I'd say it was a good day for the US.  If nothing else, everyone will be able to make fun of Andy for a LONG time!
Cringing while watching the video of him falling
After the race Scott Simmons and I were able to preview the Individual course.  This place is beautiful!
Previewing the individual course

2 comments:

  1. Simply crushing. Sorry, Andy!

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