Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Beautiful Toblach

Wow, is Toblach, Italy ever beautiful! We arrived in darkness last evening, so I can only assume we missed incredible views as we wound (and I mean wound - wholy car sickness curves!) our way through the Dolomites from southern Germany, through Innsbruck, Austria and into Italy.

After three days of battling a cold and then food poisoning I feel much better today. Callum, our lone Aussie athlete has been suffering from the same cold and food poisoning, but understandably so is taking longer to recover. He put in a strong effort yesterday to be able to continue his Tour de Ski Journey. With the 20km pursuit taking place on just a 2.5km loop, and lap times being around the 6 minute mark it was important that he not lose more than 45 seconds per lap over the first 7 laps so ensure that he got onto his 8th and final lap before the lead pack came through. Fortunately he lapped through with 1.5 min to spare and completed the race and ensured that he would race another day!

Today Callum was followed around by NRK TV from Norway. They wanted to profile the "other" end of the World Cup experience. While the Norwegians, and Sweden have their own tracter trailer wax trucks and the Canadians travel on a "rockstar" tour bus, the Aussie budget allows for us to travel in a 4 door small SUV with everything and everyone packed inside.

NRK had heard about our Wally the Wombat videos and the lighthearted atmosphere in our wax room....we gave the camera man a bit of a surprise when he walked into the wax room to find us just in our wax aprons. The footage will be broadcast to approximately 7 million people. Our cheeks will be famous!

We were on the road to Italy yesterday before Kikkan began her race, but in chatting with her after the race she skied a strong classic portion in the pursuit, but struggled with the skating. Still, a bad day is now a top 30 so things are positive.

Below is a collage of pictures from the past week. With sunshine in the forecast for the next few days the best pics are still to come!

Humble accommodations in Oberhof. But I really didn't need more space.
Callum hanging tough in the 15km classic. Great crowds on a monster climb.
Packing it in in Oberhof - bound for Oberstdorf.....I had the back seat. Long 5 hours.
Front of our hotel in Oberhof.
Hotel Kappeler Haus - Our accommodations in Oberstdorf. View of the northern edge of the Dolomites (I think).
If only the sun made it to where I was standing during the men's 20km pursuit. -11 c in the shade.
Success! The 20km pursuit is done....off to Italy!
View from our balcony in Toblach. If you look really close to the top of the middle of the building across the street you can see a row of flags. That is the climb in the stadium. Walking distance to the race course....brilliant!

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