Team Austria kicked off winter prep
With a training camp focusing on endurance and stamina, the most successful raceboard team of the last season has officially kicked off its preparation for the upcoming Olympic season.
In Sillian, Team Snowboard Austria which celebrated three world championships gold medals (Prommegger 2x, Ulbing) and two silver medals (Karl) as well as one overall World Cup title (Prommegger) and one small Crystal Globe (Ulbing, PSL) underwent an intense programme which Head Coach Ingemar Walder had put together.
Athletes followed the tracks of the 100th Giro d'Italia by crossing the 1,636 m Kreuzberg Pass on their route from Sillian to Sexten which has been part of this year's route of the Italian classic to a large extent.
Passing Padola and Dosoledo, the team pedalled back to Sillian on a 100 km long stage. In addition, all riders had to showcase their climbing skills by cresting the Oberstalleralm – an ascent with gradients of up to 17 degrees.
While the road bike units were pretty exhausting, the Austrian snowboard stars had to prove their courage in a thrilling downhill action at Kronplatz, too, where everyone entered the eight kilometres long Herrensteig on mountain bikes.
The training camp was rounded out by a rafting tour hosted by Lienz based company Cool's (Center of Outdoor) and exercises in the gym as well as a hiking tour to the famous Tre Cime di Lavaredo in the Dolomites.
“We wanted to focus on sportive variety before we get back on snow end of August,” said Ingemar Walder.
“Courses like this one also help to build up team spirit. That's something you notice when you go for a rafting tour. Mountain biking improves the ability to react and helps to estimate the speed correctly. Two qualities which can decide on winning or losing next winter,” the Head Coach explained further on.
While almost everything went smoothly, only one athlete had to weather a moment of shock.
Last season's rising star Daniela Ulbing crashed in her third and last downhill ride bruising three ribs: “I was pushing my limits with every single run I took, and finally pushed it too much. But the injury isn't that bad at all. As soon as I'm pain-free again I will be back to training,” the world champion said.
Besides Ulbing, also Claudia Riegler, Sabine Schoeffmann as well as Andreas Prommegger, Sebastian Kislinger, Fabian Obmann, Alexander Payer and Johann Stefaner took part in the stamina course staged in East and South Tyrol.