Monday, February 27, 2012

Second top 10 result for the season

The 7th and 8th ski cross World Cups of the season were held this weekend in Goetschen, Germany.

I was feeling less than ideal for Friday’s qualification race. A few days earlier I came down with a bad head cold; something I couldn’t seem to shake off. I finished a disappointing 18th, just 0.1 of a second from qualifying in the top 16 for finals. The only positive I could take from this was having one extra day to rest and recover, and get healthy for the second World Cup held on Sunday.

Yesterday I had my best ever qualifying result on World Cup. I qualified in fifth place, just 0.63 of a second behind the leader (a massive improvement from over two seconds behind in the qualification race on Friday!) I was extremely happy with how I skied and where I was placed, and finally a boost of confidence and adrenaline reminded me why I love competing, and why I love this sport.

(The Aussies: Scott Kneller, Brooke Dunleavy, Sami Kennedy Sim and myself) 

(Qualifications, Sunday) 

 (Excited after qualifyng in 5th)

For finals, my first quarter final heat included Marielle Thompson of Canada, Hedda Berntsen of Norway and Andrea Limbacher of Austria. All three have won World Cups, with Limbacher still overjoyed from her first World Cup victory yesterday. I had an average start, but made a good come back over the first roller section and jumped into third place. I fought the entire way down, trying to make a pass into second, and got very close a few times. The conditions were tough; soft and extremely bumpy. I just couldn’t manage to quite pull off the pass. I was happy with how I skied, and although I couldn’t match my 5th place in qualifications, I finished up in 10th overall. This is my second best result ever on World Cup, and my second top 10 World Cup result of the season. I am now placed 17th place in the overall World Cup rankings, currently one spot better than I finished last year. There are still three World Cups to go until the end of the season, so hopefully a few good results can push me up in the rankings. 

 (Talk about a splash of colour! Noriko Fukushima and I)

I am now on my way up to Sweden where I will race in the next World Cup event in Branäs. Hopefully this momentum from Germany will continue up in Sweden, and I can produce another personal best result.

(Cows up on the training hill in Austria) 

(Antonio in fine form)

Monday, February 20, 2012

The video blogs are back!

After an 8-day mid-season break in Melbourne, I have finally had time to put together another one of my famous video blogs. This time, I have Winter X-Games footage to add to the video, which definitely makes this exciting!

The break at home was great. Just enough time to soak up some sun, see family and friends, hit the gym and even get a surf in!

I am now back in Europe, getting ready for the next World Cup Ski Cross which is in Goetschen, Germany. I am feeling well resting, and looking forward to getting back into racing!

Enjoy the video.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

11th at Blue Mountain

At Blue Mountain World Cup this weekend, I finished in 11th place. In my first quarter final heat I was up against Marielle Thompson of Canada, Katrin Ofner of Austria and Anastaysa Chertsova of Russia. It was a fight all the way down for second position between myself and Ofner, but in the end she took the lead by a couple of metres an beat me to the line. Thomposon and Ofner ended up finishing first and second in the final, with Katrin Mueller of Switzerland in third. 


(Quarter Finals with Thompson of Canada and Ofner of Austria)

There were masses of fans at the race, including plenty of school kids, which was great! They made us feel like superstars!

(Anton Grimus and I enjoying meeting the locals)

I am now on my way home for a 8-day break. Looking forward to getting in the surf, and soaking up the rays! We then head back to Europe for the next World Cup, which is in Germany.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

X Games Finals

After a great lead up to X Games finals, I was looking forward to skiing the track head-to-head. The sun was shining yet again, and this time the bottom of the race course was surrounded by spectators and fans ready to watch some action! Unfortunately when I actually got in the start gate ready for the first semi-final, nerves somehow paralysed me. I think I was over-nervous and over-anxious, and I just didn't race as aggresively as I usually do. I finished the semi final in 5th, and the small final in 5th, putting me in 11th overall.

Although I was disappointed with how I performed in the finals, I have taken many positives out of the X Games experience. The track was incredible; a complete adrenaline rush. I think any ski cross course from now on will feel like a kids track compared to X Games!

Here are a few great shots taken on the day by Nico Rienaecker. Thanks for the photos!

(The final jump at X Games. I'm in the red bib and green pants)

I am now in Blue Mountain, Canada, for the next World Cup. We have just had qualifications, and I finished in 10th. Finals are tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to giving it everything!

(Qualifications at Blue Mountain. Photo taken by Andrew Logan)

PS- A video blog from the season so far is on it's way!