Returning to the Tournette – Sources du Fier this year, itÂ couldn’t have been more different than the storm of last year, with blue skies and settled weather all weekend.Â This gave the opportunity to finally race on the full course, which lived up to all expectations – even if I didn’t!Â Having badly battered my right leg upÂ on the Monday followed by a hard weeks work in La Grave, it was going to be tough keeping going let alone keep up with anÂ on form Jon Bracey – so a gruelling 2 days ensued, with Jon taking the lead and helping me out on the changeovers.
Large sections of both Saturdays and Sundays course are on foot, climbing and running alongÂ alpine ridges with safety lines on the more exposed parts.Â The skiing consisted of the usual full range of off piste conditions – from steep icy slopes to powder fields, with a load of avalanche debris and a memorable descent on lovely breakable suncrust (try skiing that flat out on skinny skis!) to complete the roundup.
We finished up 27th ieÂ in the top 20% of the field, which was pretty good considering how slow I was going – so a major thanks to Jon for being so patient. I’mÂ happy enoughÂ about fitness for the World Champs in 2 weeks time though -Â as with some proper rest and firing on all 4 cylinders, things should go OK (& I’m finally down to racing weight!)
Congrats also to our friends Nina and Lindsey from the US team, who got onto the podium with a good 2nd placeÂ in the womens race.
Sunday morning on the Arete Gouenne
Jon Bracey powering ahead..
Â Al struggling to keep up!