I have mixed feelings about the World Cup competition in Lake Louise, and this was shown quite clearly by the very different results of the first two downhill runs of the season.
The location of the venue is fantastic, the races kick off at a height of almost 2,500 m, the slopes are always prepared superbly and in sunny weather it is a really nice run. Unfortunately, the weather conditions here are very changeable, often windy and over the length of the race anything can happen. In the first competition I was able to adapt well to the conditions, and everything was just right – from my feeling for the snow and optimal coordination of my equipment right up to my line control.
Yesterday, however, several factors came together, which unfortunately did not enable me to repeat the first result. I had more problems with the visibility, so I wasn’t able to ski the entire run the same way as the previous day and also the fact that I had to ski in the slot right after the TV break was perhaps not so optimal.
Nevertheless – in view of the fact that my last real training on long skis back was back in March at the World Cup Final in St. Moritz, with only one other day of training for the summer downhill, my focus was on the three training days before the first race. After my injury lay-off my first priority was to regain the feeling for the very different requirements in this fastest of disciplines and to use the competition to get back to my old form – step by step. All in all, that worked out well. I approached the first preparatory runs as a test and I soon felt confident that my knee was okay and could also take the jumps without any problems. During the second training session visibility was difficult, in the third, however, I was able to push myself to the limit and was very satisfied with the run over much of the slope.
Bearing my fifth position in mind, we are going to analyse yesterday’s race in detail after today’s Super G to make sure we keep making the right adjustments in the right places.
I am now just glad that I have also got the start of the season in the downhill behind me, and after this weekend, I will hopefully have a World Cup reference target in all three disciplines, so that I can start setting myself goals and working together with the team to achieve them.