Monday, January 25, 2016

Europe!

When I got to Europe last week, I went straight to Austria to race in 2 Europa Cup Super-G’s. They were supposed to take place in Radstadt, but due to lack of snow, they were moved next door to Reiteralm. The last time I skied at Reiteralm was when I did a mini Euro trip during my senior year at Stratton Mountain School. Cool to be back! For the first race I really had no expectations, because I had never done a Europa Cup Super-G before, and it was only my 4th Europa Cup ever. I started bib 42. I knew it would be a little bumpy, but the snow was holding up pretty well. When I skied through the finish I knew I had a solid run, but I was shocked when I turned around and saw that I had skied into 6th place! I was beyond stoked with this result. I had never even come close to scoring Europa Cup points, and in 1 day I scored 40 of ‘em. The next day I was able to start in the first seed, wearing bib 14. I knew the snow would be better, so my plan was to tighten up the line in some places and go after it a little more. I ended up finishing the day in 7th place. Though I didn’t place as well the second day, my time was closer to the winner; so I scored a career best result of 12! After competing in just 2 of the 4 Europa Cup Super-G’s, I now sit in 12th place in the standings.


2 years ago, I was able to get experience on World Cup speed venues, racing in Wengen Europa Cup, and forerunning Beaver Creek World Cup. Earlier this winter I was able to race on the Lake Loiuse Downhill track in a Nor-Am. This past week I got to experience what it is like to race on the most demanding track of the GS World Cup Circuit—Val D’Isere. During inspection, I knew it was going to take some of my best skiing to make the flip in a Europa Cup GS, or to even make it down the hill at all! Unfortunately, I skied out of the course on both first runs. It was difficult starting with bib 67. I haven’t started that far back all season, so the bumpy course was definitely a surprise. Luckily, this was my last race with 19 GS points (in a few days they will go down to 13). I am still very happy with the way I am skiing and am stoked for some more races! Next I have 2 European Cup GS’s in Zuos, Switzerland, then it’s back to Canada for some Nor-Ams. 

Here are my 2 race runs from the Reiteralm Europa Cup Super-G's.



Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Park City and Big Sky FIS Races

Over the past week I have competed in four GS races. Two of the races took place in Park City, Utah and the other two were in Big Sky, Montana- all four being University races. A few of the western college racers are ex/current world cup racers, and most of them are podium contenders on the Nor-Am circuit. Also, about 20 of the top 30 college racers are international (a lot of Canadians and Europeans). I was definitely impressed with how low the points were when I saw the first start sheet.

The first two races at Park City were seeded off of FIS GS points, so I was able to just barely squeak into the first seed. The snow was not the best, so it definitely helped to start earlier. After the first run of the first race, I was in first! I was super pumped, because I knew I had been training fast the whole week leading up to the races, but was definitely surprised to be leading the entire field by .45 of a second. I was pretty nervous heading into the second run, because I don’t think I have ever won the first run of a GS in my FIS career. I tried to stay calm and ski the same as I did first run. Unfortunately, I nearly did the splits about 8 gates from the finish and had to ski out. On one hand I was overly excited with how fast I was skiing, but the other hand was slapping my forehead over and over because I thought I could have won! I did my best to forget about what happened and move onto the next day.

The first run of the second race went exactly as it did the first day! I was in the lead again. I knew I just had to have a solid run without any huge mistakes and would have a good shot at winning… I did just that and not only won my first FIS GS race ever, but took the win on both runs! I was extremely excited with my best GS result of the season, scoring a 16.


On my way to placing 1st in the Park City FIS GS

Next was Big Sky, Montana. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past couple summers hiking, biking, and fishing all around the Big Sky area, but had never skied it! So I was ready to take my fast skiing from Park City over to Montana. These races were no longer seeded off of FIS points, but rather college circuit points from last year (which I had zero). So I started 34th. At first I was a bit disappointed with my bib number, but when I saw how solid the snow was during inspection I knew it wouldn’t be a problem. I kicked out of the start with even more confidence than I had in Park City, and absolutely sent it. Once again, I came down into the lead. From bib 34! So, I got ready for my third race in a row where I was starting 30th in the second run. I tried to stay calm for the couple hours leading into second run, but it’s much more difficult than I thought! I attacked the second run with the same intensity that I had first run… I ended up winning the run, and the race just in front of my teammate Kipling! It definitely felt good to win my second race in a row, but even more fun to share the podium with my good friend and teammate. I got even better news later that night when the final results came out, and I saw that I scored the best race of my career—an 11!

I did my best to stay focused for one more day to try and match my 11-point result. I got to start in the first seed the next day with bib 7. For the fourth day in a row, I won the first run and had to start the second run 30th. I thought I would start to get used to it, but my nerves were going crazy! At the top of the second run I had a bobble that dumped all of my speed for the flats and had to play catch up for the rest of the run. I did my best to charge the pitch harder than I had in the previous runs, but it wasn’t enough. I had a .4 second lead going into the second run but ended up 18th on the second run, placing 4th overall (scoring another 16-point result). Though I totally blew that second run, I couldn’t have been more stoked on how the week went. Between Park City and Big Sky, I ended up winning 6 of the 8 runs I took.

I am currently sitting on a plane heading over to Europe. I am about 1/3 of the way through the season, and I now have lower FIS points in GS, SG, and DH than I ever have. Now its time to put my speed into some European cups! Over the next three weeks I will have 4GS, 3 SG, and 2 DH starts on the European Cup. Time to turn it up!


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

December NorAms

Right after my last post, I raced in a couple warm-up Super G races in Copper, Colorado before heading to Lake Louise. They actually turned out to be challenging FIS races, with a few world cup guys tossed in there. The first race, I thought I skied pretty well, and ended up finishing in 3rd place right behind my teammate Tanner Farrow. The second day I thought I skied decent, but was thoroughly surprised when I got to the finish and found out I had won! I ended up scoring the best Super G result of my life, and even finished .35 seconds in front of Austrian World Cup star, Klaus Kroell.

Right after the two Super G races in Copper, I hopped on a plane to Calgary, and competed in the Lake Louise Downhill races. These were my first Downhill races since I tore my ACL in the World Junior Championships 2 years ago. To be honest, I was pretty nervous and wasn’t expecting much. I finished out the series with an 18th place and a 20th place finish. I was happy with these results, but was more excited to head over to Panorama to compete in 2 GS races and a Super G. 

In the Super G, I had a handful of mistakes that added up to a 12th place finish. In the first GS race, I finished first run in 6th place, which set me up nicely for a shot at the podium. I knew I needed a solid second run to move up, so I took some risk and unfortunately, it didn’t work out. I made a few mistakes and ended up in 9th place. In the second GS race, I once again finished the first run in 6th place. I had the same mindset going into the second run, and again… it didn’t workout. I ended up having one big mistake that launched me out of the course. I then had to pull myself back into the gates. I knew I had blown my podium chances right when I got through the finish. I ended up 12th overall. Unfortunately, I never put two runs together without mistakes, but I know I am skiing well and am definitely ready for some more races!

I had a very nice, relaxing break in Massachusetts with my family and now I am in Park City, Utah for 2 FIS GS races. Right after the second race I will be jumping on a plane to Munich, Germany to compete in my first European Cup races of the year!



Podium picture of me and my teammate, Tanner Farrow. Klaus Kroell didn't show up to awards. Ha!

Friday, December 4, 2015

First Norams of the Season

The prep period is finally over and the first NorAms of the season are in the books. After 4 prep camps (Mt, Hood, New Zealand, Chile, and Colorado) I was finally able to compete in my first races since February 2014, almost 2 years ago! Since then, I have had ACL Surgery, hip labrum surgery, and Meniscus surgery. My first races back were 2 GS NorAms on Monday and Tuesday at Copper Mountain. I couldn’t have been more stoked to be back on the race circuit. I was so happy I couldn’t get the smile off my face in the start gate! Sounds a little corny, but it is true!  I finished the first race in 28th position, starting 53rd and finished the second race in 16th, starting 47th. Really excited to be in the points for these first races, as they will give me a better start number at the Panorama NorAms in 2 weeks.

It has been one hell of a comeback, and I want to thank everyone who has been a part of this crazy ride! Next up is Lake Louise Downhill and Super G!


Here are my 2 race runs from my 16th place result on Tuesday. First run I finished 24th with a big mistake near the bottom of the course. On the second run, I was 10th fastest. 



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Early Season Copper Training


We have finished our last fitness block and we are finally skiing in Colorado! Copper Mountain has provided us with full length GS runs for the past week, and the snow is only getting better. In the past few days, Colorado has gotten over 20 inches of fresh snow, and Copper still has the snow guns blowing to get the full US Ski Team Speed track open by early next week. So far, I have had 4 days of solid GS training, and tomorrow we finally get to run some Super-G! Check in for more video next week.





Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mt. Hood, Oregon


I guess it is time to revamp this blog, because I am finally skiing again! After a looooong hiatus from the ski racing world, Nick Krause is back in the game. Since my last post, I have been putting in an absurd amount of hours in the gym, and fine tuning some small things with physical therapy. A couple weeks ago, I finished my first full camp with the US Ski Team in over a year. Words cannot express how excited I am to have skied seven pain free days in arguably the most challenging snow of the off season--Mt. Hood, Oregon!

When we got to Hood, the plan was to ski 4 days of Slalom and 3 days of GS with a focus on fundamentals. After the first day, we realized skiing GS or Slalom gates was going to be quite difficult with the crazy high temperatures and mushy soft snow. So, we decided to ski 7 straight days of Paneled Slalom! Now we have a little over two weeks working hard in the gym, and then we are hopping on a plane to New Zealand! Here is a little clip from our camp in Mt. Hood, Oregon.



Thursday, January 22, 2015

Meniscus Surgery

It has been a while since I have posted here. My apologies. I said I was going to start posting every week, but since that post, my season really took a U-Turn. Along with my bone bruise, they found a tear in my lateral meniscus.  The doctor told me that if I could deal with the pain, I could ski for the rest of the season without any risk of injuring it further. I would then have to get a surgery to fix it in the spring.

I tried to ski on the torn meniscus for about a week, and realized that I would not be able to go on with the pain I was having. So, I decided to get the surgery as soon as possible. I got the surgery done this past Tuesday by Dr. Cooley in Park City, Utah.  All they had to do was go in with a scope to see if there was any more damage than they thought, then smooth out the damaged meniscus. Fortunately, they couldn't find any further damage. The standard recovery for this surgery is 4-6 weeks. It was definitely my easiest surgery to date, as I walked out of the hospital just an hour after I woke up from anesthesia.


I hope this surgery will solve all of my pain issues to be back on snow in 4-6 weeks! I will post some pictures when I take the bandages off!