McKennis Blog: On to the next one – Cortina

We just finished up racing in Bad Kleinkircheim, Austria. It wasn’t a great weekend for me and certainly nothing to write home about. I ended up 26th in the Downhill and still earned a few World Cup points but I know I can ski a lot better.

The Downhill course was pretty challenging in sections; not sure I have ever had to step turn in Downhill but that was the best tactic on the first two gates.  They were set about as far across the hill as they could manage yet the distance between them was short as possible, it wasn’t pretty to watch anyone but I guess sometimes that’s the way it is. The middle section flowed pretty well and the bottom ended up being very challenging with the higher speeds and numerous bumps and ripples. I felt a little out of control and sketchy on that section, but somehow I hung on and made it down.

The course name in Bad Klein is the Franz Klammer abfarht (downhill), which I thought was pretty darn cool. Franz was actually at the race watching. I didn’t get to meet him but I felt a bit like him on the bottom of the course, a little out of control, but not necessarily in a good Franz Klammer way. More in a sketchy backseat kind of way… perhaps I can channel Franz’s out of control-ness in Cortina and do it in the good way – out of control but really fast.

Just for fun everyone should check out this video of Franz, you will get the idea of what I mean by being out of control but killing it.  Be aware, there are some really gnarly crashes in this video.

On a more positive note it was great to see Julia Ford earn her first World Cup points after attacking the challenging bottom section, we were all really excited for her. Of course it was also really nice to have Laurenne back with the team, after only getting one training run in fully clothed and then having to race a pretty tough Downhill after such a gnarly crash in Lake Louise it was really impressive to see the way she skied and pulled things together mentally. Laurenne is one tough lady.

Super-G wasn’t anything special for me, I over skied the course about as much as a person can. That wasn’t very cool, and especially slow. Eh. Oh well, on to the next one!

We are now off to Cortina for a few days of training and rest. Cortina is one of my favorite places and I am looking forward to some more racing on a course I am a bit more familiar with.

Alice McKennis is a member of the U.S. Alpine Ski Team from Glenwood Springs, Colo. She was named to the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team and, at 21, has become a regular on the World Cup Tour with five top-15 finishes to her name. McKennis was also the 2009 NorAm Cup downhill and super G overall champion.



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