Monday, June 30, 2014

Italy 2.0

Following on from our brief Scandi tour, and mini holiday in Tallinn, it's been back to Italy and WOC training for team Grizzle.
Similar to Italy training 1.0, we adopted a couple of Aussies for the week  - joined in our adventures by Toph and Jas. They made great company and training buddies, but sometimes the cultural difference seemed to just be too great...

Aussies...I'll never understand them.

They also lost out to our previous companions of Ness and Lachy, as I couldn't think up a witty team name including all 4 of our names. Sorry guys, try harder with your names next time?

First up was a 4 day stint up on the Asiago plateau, hanging out in our cute little cottage, exploring, and sitting in the town square trying to spy other national teams.
Orienteers...Hanging out our laundry
in the middle of town.
Not sure if Toph spent more time training, or exploring
tunnels and caves?! :)

And of course, it would be criminal to visit the area without running up at least one mountain - so we 'ran' up Monte Cornetto, directly behind Folgaria.

"merely spectacular"

We also did a bit of middle distance training, and rock hopping practice.

 It was with a mixture of excitement and sadness that we left the mountains to head to Venice for a couple of days sprint training. Bidding adieu to Toph and Jas, we welcomed Lachy, and the Robertson siblings into the party car, and hit up some sprint maps. And it didn't disappoint - weaving our way through and around small alleyways, canals, and the odd tourist or a hundred.

Never in one place for too long, it was then off to Vittorio Veneto for the weekend, and our final WOC sharpening up - the Alpe Adria races. With the full Aussie team and 2/3rds of the Kiwi team there, it felt a bit like a European based trans-tasman test match! The weekend was wicked fun, with really enjoyable karst terrain. Open running and smooth navigating for the relay, a fast and fun sprint, and crazy intricate rock detail overlaid on physically tough karst topography for the middle. It was a nice confidence boost prior to WOC to take out the middle, just ahead of Helen Palmer, and to be 2nd, within touching distance of Hanny in the sprint. The commentary and atmosphere was entertaining, and we really enjoyed the hospitality of the organisers and the region, especially at the Gala dinner! It was really good to get some race practice prior to WOC kicking off!
Training and Race maps will be up on my DOMA once I have time.

Middle Podium
Photo: Andrea Cardosi
I'm not sure what the duty free limit is going back to Aus...but I think I may be over it.

Wanted: Friends!
...or we may not even make it to the WOC party...
(Team winnings from the weekend)
There's now just 5 sleeps til the first WOC race, time to kick back and taper! I'll put up a WOC preview and viewing guide sometime this week for the down-under clan. But in the meantime, anyone got good movie recommendations?!

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