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La Molina
March 3rd 2014
After 3 more days in Pitztal, I flew home on Wednesday evening.  Unfortunately, my skis were not reunited with me at Birmingham airport; I was told that they hadn't been put on the plane in Frankfurt!  Since I was flying out to Barcelona from London the following afternoon to do some racing, I was promised that the skis would be delivered to my hotel in La Molina the following afternoon.

Sure enough, the skis did not arrive on Thursday. My Mum spent Thursday evening and Friday morning phoning the handling agents in Barcelona but, even though the skis were there at the airport,  they said that Lufthansa would not give permission for them to be taken to the hotel! After very many phone calls, they finally delivered the skis on Friday afternoon, giving me no opportunity to train on the race hill like everyone else!

La Molina is in the Pyrenees in the North East of Spain close to the border with France.  It is beautiful, it was very sunny and the people are lovely.  There are miles and miles of pistes and loads of snow.  I was pleased to meet Cian O'Sullivan who was born in the Pyrenees to Irish parents (from Cork) and who has an Irish FIS licence.  However, the races were totally disorganised.  The Organisers had what I shall call a "horizontal" approach to time keeping!  They even said that they would not be rigidly sticking to the times stated on the race programme!  The Team Captains' Meetings were conducted entirely in Spanish and someone came to us at the end to explain what had been said.

I finished 12th in GS but I felt very uncompetitive and a bit out of race-practice (my skis not having arrived until after I was on the hill the previous day certainly didn't help).

I finished the first run of the Slalom in 6th position but failed to finish the second run (as did the majority) and only 12 of the initial 33 racers finished the race!  It was an outrageous setting for a CIT race!

Slalom in the sun!

We spent the day, today, exploring Barcelona.  We stayed at a hotel on Las Ramblas and we walked for miles.  I enjoyed visiting the old 1992 Olympic Stadium.  It was interesting to learn about the loyalty of the people of Catalonia - there are Catalonian flags flying from almost every building.  They are unhappy with their Government for spending money on what they consider to be the lazy population in Southern Spain.

At the Olympic Stadium

The food was lovely; great Tapas and everyone we met was incredibly friendly.