Here is one more picture of the venue in Sochi. We took a hike up a mountain to get this picture! In this photo you can see both the XC Course and both jumps. Pretty Cool!
This last week we had our first visit to Sochi, RUS the site of our next Olympics in 2014. This was the first opportunity to get on the hills and check out the cross-country course. Needless to say it was a very valuable experience for me heading into the next two years. Checking out the venues, and the behind the scenes action going on right now really helps you have a better understanding of what the final project will be like.
The venues and methods of transportation for the Olympics is going to be unlike anything I have ever seen before. From the airport it will be possible to take a 25 minute train ride and you will be a the base of all the venues for the Olympics. From there each sports respective venue can be reached by Gondola's as well as by road. The arena sport venues will also be easily accessed downtown, and I can tell you even in the winter it will be possible to hang out on the beach while watching the Winter Olympics!
The city of Sochi was very nice, the people were all extremely helpful and friendly and we as athletes felt very welcomed to be there. The Jump hills were awesome and the cross country course for us at the olympics will be nothing short of challenging.
After 40 hours of travel, I am back home in Park City, UT now and looking back the one thing that was most impressive about our first trip was the amount of construction going on. Crews are working 24 hours a day 7 days a week to complete the high speed trains, lifts, venues, and hotels/accommodations. If I had to guess the amount of construction happening in sochi is probably in the 300 billion dollar range. Truly an impressive project, which is going to make for a spectacular winter games!
Up next we have U.S. Nationals here in Park City, UT the first week of August! Stay tuned for more and if you have checked out our TDF video I posted it below, take a look!
As many of you know our team has been in France for almost a week riding our bikes. I am working on a video of our trip again like last year. In the meantime here is a quick update to suffice. We are staying in Courcheval the first two days were combination of jumping and riding. Our first ride after the jump session was from Coucheval over to Bourg St. Maurice then up Col de petite St. Bernard and back to Courcheval. The ride was about 90 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing. Needless to say it was quite a big first day to start the trip. The next morning after jumping we loaded up the van and drove to Grenoble to do a time trial up L'alpe d'Huez. That was brutal and some decent headwinds made it a very challenging ascent. Tay Tay had the fastest time up at around 47:30. Which is not bad considering the wind. Our third day we watch a stage of the Tour De France. We rode from Courcheval to Col de Madelaine and ascended the climb and watched the riders come by from the top. After they passed we actually had the opportunity to follow them down the hill and we rode directly to the bottom of the last climb in St. Jean de Maurienne where we got our second opportunity to watch them. Perhaps the best perk of the day was being able to get pizza and still watch the finish on TV!
Yesterday we an epic day of riding which totaled almost 8 hours in the saddle. Our ride was from St. Jean de Maurienne over telegraph, Galibier, and Croix De Fer back to St. Jean de Maurienne. It was 173 kilometers with 14,000 feet of climbing. Perhaps one of the best rides I have ever had. Check out the picture from the top of col de Galibier. Today is our last day of riding and unfortunately we have woke up to rain and wind and there is a good chance we are going to get wet today. Our team will carry on!
After Courcheval we will be heading to Oberstdorf, Germany for a couple days of jump training, and we leave on Wednesday for Russia. Our first chance to check out the new olympic facilities and the village of Sochi. Needless to say our team is pretty excited to check it out! Thanks to Honey Stinger, ColeSport, Steamboat, Fast Big Dog Racing, Space Station,