Monday, February 13, 2012

Latvia and Estonia

As we were flying back to Munich today from Riga, Latvia, we were discussing how we would describe those Baltic countries. We settled on:

- Grey
- Fur hats
- Fu*king cold

We had some good races and in particular, Nish threw down in the 30km skate in Latvia. Unfortunately no podiums resulted, but Phil got selected to the World Cup.

In terms of service, things were remarkably consistent. Conditions were generally cold (see above). Latvia had man made snow on the sprint course and natural on the distance course. Estonia was just natural snow.

We used Holmenkol paraffins and Ski*Go, Maplus, or Vauhti flouros for every single race.

Testing race wax with Fraser. He wasn't asleep at this point ;)

This dude was hanging around outside the waxing cabins at the Latvia venue. That isn't witches' brew that he is making, it is some kind of peppermint tea in a cast iron pot. Drinking random stuff from random Latvian guys isn't normally my style, but I figured what the heck... so I tried some. It was sweet and tasted good on a cold day.

30km skate in Latvia. This is early in the race before the field broke and the pace picked up.

Five way sprint finish for the win. Nish finished 0.5 seconds from first. Heartbreaking.
Driving the crew from Riga, Latvia to Albu, Estonia. Five hours of the sketchiest rabbit trails / ice roads you have ever seen. Alana did an amazing job of navigating with the worst map of all time. There is no way we would have made it without her.

Sprint stadium in Estonia. This was a good venue and we had a sweet setup for waxing with real ventilation.

This is what happens when you work in the cold and use a lot of hand sanitizer when the team is sick.

As a result, I visited the pharmacy at the Munich airport. The pharmacist spoke excellent English and got me set up with some cream for the day as well as some night cream with gloves. We'll see how this goes...
The scene upon arrival at our hotel for the last night in Riga before flying home. Internet is a hot commodity and the crew settled in for a quick jam session. Right after this we headed out to downtown Riga and had one of the greatest suppers ever.

Latvian breakfast is pretty weird. Pickled fish anyone?

Schnitz and frites at the Movenpick - classic Euro meal and one of my favourites.
At the moment I'm in my room at the Movenpick here in Munich. This is easily the best hotel in Europe and the breakfast buffet is famous. Tomorrow morning will be good!

After a big breakfast, I will lug 180kg of waxing equipment back to the airport and fly to Turkey to meet with World Junior / U23 team.

Good stuff.

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