US Team taking on Tour de France
The Tour de France ended this weekend, as did a two-week Euro camp for the U.S. Nordic Combined team. A week of jump training in Hinterzarten was followed by the team's traditional Tour de France camp based in Courchevel. For the last week of the camp, five of team USA's financial donors joined the team for some hands-on experience.
In addition to jumping and cross-country training the team climbed everything in sight including the Col de la Madeleine, Col du Glandon, Cormet de Roselend, Col de Tamie, Col de Leschaux, Col de Aravis, Col de la Croix Fry, La Plagne, Meribel and Courchevel. Kudos to Taylor Fletcher for beating the locals and winning the Wednesday night hill climb in Courchevel. Adam Loomis: "Another highlight was hopping in the local time trial up Montee Courchevel with Brett, Michael, Taylor and Dave Strong. They run this race weekly throughout the summer, six Euros and you get to race up the windy road, 17.5km and 1200 meters of vertical climb. The French can't resist cheering on a cyclist, so we actually had some crowds pushing us on along the way. Taylor and I suprised the Frenchies a bit by finishing 1 and 2.
Think the Tour de France had a rugged day with two climbs of Alpe de Huez on Thursday? Michal Ward reports on his blog:" Half of the team and VIP's decided to ride from Courchevel to Alp d'Huez. That is a long way and goes over three major climbs. They left at 6am to make it to the Alp d'Huez in time to see Le Tour." Check out the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team's ride that day on Olympic champion Billy Demong's ride tracking - nearly 14,000 vertical feet climbed! See Billy's ride tracking here