Had an amazing time racing here in the Netherlands!
The team flew into Brussels where I was able to say a quick hello to my Mike (my brother) and Ana (his girlfriend) at her place before traveling onward to SnowWorld in Landgraaf, Netherlands. Here, we spent 6 days training in an indoor facility before the first two Europa Cups of the season. The training was great — consistent and repetitive, perfect for testing my new snowboard and plate/binding set up.
Snowworld itself was an interesting place… the hotel, dining area, and snowboarding facility were all connected indoors so we spent a lot of time inside! The team had one day off before the races so we decided to take advantage of our time in Europe by making a quick road trip to Amsterdam for the afternoon.
The races consisted of two slalom events since the hill was not long enough to host a giant slalom race. Both race days had tough competition since it was the first event of the year. All of the European racers (including the top World Cup riders) were there to start off the season. I finished as the top North American rider on both days, but definitely had some kinks to work out.
Europa cup races are important for me at this stage of my career so that I can gain mileage against snowboarders my age and skill level. I can then relate experiences from these Europa Cups and project them onto high pressure events such as World Cups.
"Race days. Fun. Nerve wracking. Exciting. Disappointing. Glad to have #balabars to keep me energized and focused 💪🏻…www.instagram.com
This trip has taught me many things (of which I am still working on):
- how to deal with soft snow
- elongating and rounding out my line
- pressuring my board at the top of the turn
- where to get the best waffles in Brussels (thanks Ana)