06 March, 2010

World Championships 2010 Relay Race

The Ski Mountaineering World Championships come to a close today, after the last race, the Relay.  A really fun event, that was as much fun to watch, as it was for the rest of our team to race.  The mens team consisted of Reiner Thoni, James Minifie, Stano Faban, and Andrew McNab.  The womens team, was Julie Matteau, Melanie Bernier, and Billie Velisek.  (Photo Left:  Melanie Bernie showing her anaerobic endurance on the last ascent)

The women raced first, with Mel charging out of the gate, leading the worlds best behind her.  Settling into her pace, she charged up the first switchback points, to the transition and down through as set of downhill giant slalom gates.  Everyone was going absolutely 100%, maxing out every last ounce of energy, burning the lungs hard.  Tagging Julie at the transition, was exciting to watch, as she hammered out of the gate and through the whole course.  Julie has truly been the media's favorite this World Cup, as every photographer shot at least a dozen photos as she blew by everyone, and can be found on countless websites now.

Billie Velisek, took the tail end of the Relay, putting her long stride to good use and reeling in the competition. She made a monstrous acceleration on the bootpack of the last ascent, lapping the Japanese Team, and moving even faster through the transition.  The girls came in 6th place overall beating out Team Andorra, and USA.  Well done ladies!  (Photo Right:  Billie Velisek blazing by the competition, while Canadian racers and spectators cheer on)

Reiner was the mens team starter.  When the gun went off, he stayed outside of the busy track, showing the experience Canada has when skinning without a set trail keeping well out with France, Spain, and the Swiss.  James Minifie was the second of the men, and was great to watch, especially as he suffering even harder from a cut that was pouring blood from an accident at a skin transition.  Hardcore!  

Andrew McNab, reeled in the Americans even more, while we watched in awe.  Every time I watch McNab ski, it's like watching a hungry dog run towards a dinner plate, when there is powder and skiing to be had.  Nice work McNab!  Stano Faban anchored the group today.  He put out an amazing performance, looking really well rested and on top of his game.  He took a massive, really large, amount of time between us and the Americans.  The men came in 11th, well done boys.  (Photo Below:  Reiner Thoni hammering out of the start)

Other fantastic performances of the day included watching Brandon French battle it out with many different racers, including one unbelievable push with a Norwegian Racer.  With the end of the week here, everyone is preparing to relax and enjoy our last night here.   It's off to France to race Pierra Menta for many of us, some are heading home, and others to other races across the globe.  Stoked on an awesome experience, and ready for more!


  1. mercedes von der beckeMarch 7, 2010 at 3:49 AM

    hey im mercedes, the waitress of piolets, you are a great team, tks for everything, nice to meet you, and i hope you to win in france.
    nice to meet you everyone.
    see you in canada!!! i hope so!

  2. Hey Mercedes! Thanks for your hospitality and comment. We really enjoyed Andorra and liked everyone we met. Hope you get some great skiing in, and make sure you ski some great Canadian powder when you are here!

  3. Alex,

    Hey, good to meet you and Team Canada. Could you shoot me an email at jared inouye at gmail dot com? Do you have any sizing information on CRAZY skimo suits?