This week we are in Ramsau, Austria. This is one of the toughest stops on the tour. The jump hill here in Ramsau is a HS 98 and for those of you who don't know its a lot smaller then the hills we have been skiing. Lillehammer is an HS 136, so you might be asking, why this would be harder. Typically people think the smaller the hill, the easier it must be, and that is not the case. Ramsau is an older jump and since the sport has evolved so much in the years since it was built, jumpers have an easier time going further on this hill. However since there is not a lot of meters to land on past the K point that closes the gap between the best jumpers and the worst jumpers. Which turns the comp into a cross country race. The only problem with that is the cross country course is very hard. It has some huge, steep hills and some tough, tough slightly uphill flats, all leading into a down hill finish. So this is a strong cross-country skiers dream. Simply put its a leg burner and with the downhill finish everyone can sprint fast into the finish so there is not a lot of opportunity to get away from the competitors around you.
That being said this is also one of the U.S.Team's favorite stops on tour. We stay at a place called the Kielhuberhof hotel. The hotel is our home away from home. Great food, awesome rooms, and a great family runs the hotel. I love coming here every year despite the tough competitions its still a great place to relax.
This weekend will mark the halfway point in our season, since there is only 12 comps this season plus World Championships its important to stay on your game and make every weekend count. Thats my goal for the weekend, to pick up right where I left off. Scoring points this weekend is where my goal is set. Stay tuned for updates throughout the weekend.