2012 World Cup – Norway

USTSACory Snyder and Madi McKinstry represent the US in Norway WC
5 races will be held in Norway between January 28 and February 4.  Cory Snyder and Madi McKinstry will race for the USA.  With the Kvitfjell races complete, the racers will travel to Rjukan for the final 3 events in the Norway series.  Following are their comments, insights and results from these races.

Saturday, February 4, Madi –Well, today was not quite as eventful for me, but it was a lot more eventful for the people who qualified. I could only manage 9th place, and Cory ate it in the second run of qualifiers. When the finals started, the crashes started. First Sondre crashed into Joergen, and they slid all twisted together into the loom. Apart from bruises, they were ok. Then Amelie raced Thea, and Amelie fell. She recovered and caught back up. Sven also fell during his pair, Bastien had some weird wobbles and ended up breaking two…maybe three poles total? Sigrid also fell during a run, and Johanna was able to stay ahead of her and qualify for the final round against Amelie. While hiking up to the start, Johanna’s reoccurring knee problems fired up, and sadly she couldn’t ski the final two runs against Amelie, putting her in second place. There were some really close runs between the men, Bene was against Bastien and had broken his pole, so when he went to grab it, he missed the fact he had to skate the extra 2 second penalty. So he lost because of that, and was not too happy. As spectators, we were all going crazy, cheering and blowing into little horns the Swiss coach had given us. The final results-Phil Lau, Tobi Muller, Bastien Dayer. Amelie Reymond, Johanna Holzmann, Sigrid Rykhus.

Video by Team Sweden

Friday, February 3, Madi – Today was one of the longest days of my short life. It started off bright and early at 6:30 to chomp on some food and squeeze into my speedsuit. At 7:45 we began inspecting the course…err…courses. At 9:00 it was time to begin the qualifing rounds. First we ran the blue/left course. In qualifiers, we were just by ourselves, not side by side. Then we headed back up to the red/right course and flipped our starting order. Once everyone had gone, it seemed I had just managed to squeeze into the top eight…meaning I would be competeing in the head to head part of the race. Goal completed. What I hadn;t thought about was actually running this whole new parallel race. So Cory helped me get my skis ready for what could have been multiple runs. Finally at 13:00 it was time for the first ever sprint parallel. Oh, and not to mention Johanna had come down the stairs after qualifiers and told me, “you are number 8? you are running with Amelie.” That was when the enormous “oh no” groan escaped my lips. Ya…Amelie was sitting across the table laughing at me. But in a good way. Ummm so anyways, I rode up the T-bar with Amelie, and we talked about the race and the upcoming races in Steamboat. Yup, that’s about the most I have ever said to that woman. They ran the men first, because there were more pairs of them, and my stomach just became more infested with butterflies as each pair went by. Finally came the highly anticipated, but dreaded “red course ready? ‘yes’ blue course ready? ‘mmmhmmmm*with head nods*’ attention…GO!” and the panels dropped. Oh man, the panels dropped, and my hands pulled me out of the start. I re-gripped my poles and dropped into tele. That was when I once again realized that I was racing next to Amelie FREAKING Reymond. SCARY A** S**T. Felt like I was going to throw up. But somehow, a smile snuck onto my face, and I gritted my teeth and tried to keep up. I landed the jump tele, and chased her into the loom. She was ahead of me on the skate, but the “KOM IGNEN!!!” from the Swedes was ringing in my ears and I pushed harder than ever. At the finish, of course she had beaten me, but there was still second run. And yes, second run was just as intimidating. More so actually, because I didn’t land the jump tele and had to do the “1 second” skate turn thing…but I was still miles behind, and came smiling and skating into the finish. What I learned from today? This new event is the most fun thing about the sport, even though it takes all day and makes me feel uber jittery.

today’s podium—Phil Lau-FRA, Bene Holzmann-GER, Bastien Dayer-SUI…….Sigrid Rykhus-NOR, Amelie Reymond-SUI, Julie Duedahl-DAN

Video by Team Sweden

Thursday, February 2 – Cory – A good day here in Rjukan on the Pukkelen hill at Rjukan! Madi had two solid runs without major mistakes and was able to pull down an 8th place finish. She was happy with her skiing, but she said she knows she can do better on this hill, on which she has had good results in the past! I had a pretty good day as well, taking home 9th place after skiing two really good, not great runs, but penalty free runs. I have never skied well on this hill, so it feels good to finally ski a piste well that I have never been able to ski well before! We are both very very excited for tomorrows parallel sprint, the first ever to be run at the world cup level. Since we have never run one before, the door is open for somebody to break through and establish themselves on a new stage! Wish us luck!!

Women’s Podium: Amelie Reymond 1st, Sigrid Rykhus 2nd, and Laura Grenier Soliget 3rd

Men’s Podium: Bastien Dayer 1st, Sondre Kristenstue 2nd ,  and Phillipe Lau 3rd

Tuesday, January 31 – Madi – I’ve got pictures and video  from the Kvitfjell website. They are pictures from the Classic and Sprint. The drive from Kvitfjell to Rjukan is sooooooooo long….never again will we rent a car…
Video of Classic Race
Video of Sprint Classic Race

Sunday, January 29 – Madi – Classic So today was a good and bad day for the US. Cory finished 11th with a beatiful pole handoff from me, after snapping it on the 7th gate. There was a nice wave track that got you haulin’ before the flats. I managed to make the jump line, but was not so good in the gates. After some major powder skiing up top, I came to almost a complete stop in the skate due to a slight uphill. For any team members reading this, get your butts skating every day, all day ASAP. The top finishers were – Men:Tobi GER, Bastien SUI, Sondre NOR, Phil FRA, Lasse NOR, Olle SWE. Women: Sigrid NOR, Amelie SUI, Johanna GER, Mathilde NOR, Julie DAN, Anne Marit NOR

Saturday, January 28 – Cory – We had fun in the snow today,  as it snowed all day today, as it has the last 4 days here in Kvitfjell.  Madi ran 8th and she ran into some
equipment trouble as her goggles completely iced over as she left the start, so she struggled a bit with knowing where she was on the long sprint course.  She also took a little spill in the wrap, also probably due the fact that she looked a bit like a blind person (weird huh) as she skied in.  However she had a strong second run but was not able to gain much ground for a 10th place finish.  I had a pretty decent day racing on a hill I spent a long time skiing on last winter.  First run I laid down a solid run, and was able to jump into twelfth place.  I was much more comfortable in the second run, and made up more time to finish in 11th position.  I did end up with 7 total gate penalties, I know I had two in the second run, including a big fat alpine turn after the jump, I  went a little too far for once!  Tomorrow Madi and I will try to clean up our skiing and lay down some sweet runs.  She starts #3 and I start number #5!!  Finally my classic points are good enough to break into the top 15!!  Rock and roll!!  Complete Results

Friday, January 27 – Cory – We are all ready to rock here in Kvitfjell, the skis are tuned and we have had a good day of training here.  It has been snowing here for pretty much four days straight, day and night, so the surface should be pretty interesting.   It is cold so the snow is very light, and underneath the soft light snow is blue rock solid ice.  So it will be interesting to see what we end up with tomorrow in the sprint!  Wish us luck!