Tight schedule for Austria's Nordic Combined squad
After a nine hour stint at the Ironman in Klagenfurt last weekend, head coach Christoph Eugen and his team headed to Ramsau am Dachstein for another training camp this week. On top of the to do list was the return to a 90 m hill. Next weekend will see another sports event with the participation at the Radmarathon Grieskirchen
Camp in Ramsau
"When you're on top of a larger hill the first time in summer, you're a little bit on pins and needles. But I am super excited for this and looking forward to this week", Berni Gruber said before the start of the camp.
Teammate Christoph Bieler drew a positive conclusion after the first rounds of jumps: "For me, this is already the fifth preparation for Olympic Games, so you develop a certain routine and try to optimize processes. This year, I started with my training a little bit later and made sure I got a longer break after the season. But my first jumps already feel really good again, so this path is the correct one. In spite of my long career, I feel fresh and well rested."
Mario Stecher, Sepp Schneider and Tomaz Druml were not able to jump on Ramsau. Druml is plagued by a strain trauma in his left knee and Schneider is still recovering form tearing his cruciate ligament in winter. For Mario Stecher who has been recovering from a knee surgery in early spring, the first endurance testing on the treadmill was on schedule in Ramsau. "I am feeling very well and the knee is holding up so far. During the last months, I have concentrated on physiotherapy and rehabilitation training. I have been back on my bike for three weeks now and just started roller skiing last week. The endurance test went very well, so I am quite satisfied!" First jumps will have to wait a little while longer and with his switch to new equipment company "Sport2000", Stecher will probably have his hands full in the jumping sector.
To shake things up a little, the team will participate in another sports event on the next weekend: the cycling marathon in Grieskirchen, Upper Austria. Planned as a six hour race, two contestants in each team alternate in going on 21-kilometre laps, about 1400 participants are expected. Last year, the team consisting of Mario Stecher and Christoph Bieler won the six-hour team ranking.
"This year, or chances of victory are not so high", Mario Stecher warns. "Due to my injury, I have only been back on the bike for three weeks now. But the Radmarathon is a great event, so we like to come back here. Next to Bieler and Stecher, other winter sport stars of the Austrian Ski Federation like Alpine lady Elisabeth Görgl as well as other snowboarders and biathletes will be on the start at Grieskirchen. On top of that, there will also be a coaches' team consisting of head coach Christoph Eugen and jumping coach Falko Krismayr.
After this event, the next training camp is already scheduled in Hinzenbach for next week.