April 6: Montafon Banked
Driving up to Gargellen, it was so greybird you couldn't see farther than ten feet in front of you. Less than ideal weather for my first time riding Montafon and racing my first ever banked slalom race. A quick visit to the great people working registration, and I had my starting number and a goody bag. The Gargellen Schafberg gondola then shot me up to 2,200m and beautiful bluebird skies. Looking at the world class touring terrain I couldn't believe I wasn't there to go splitboarding. I defintely need to go back.
Sat right under the Madrisa peak, the course was filled with tight burms, even tighter 80's racing suits, burton airs and hazelnut schnapps. Alright, the course wasn't literally filled with schnapps, but prior to dropping in riders were offered a shot of Austrian confidence booster. The race began chivalrously with 19 ladies dropping in on the course. The winner was rumoured to have shot 5 metres out of one burm on her first run before coming back with the days best time on her second run . The men then followed suit, hitting the course all in the name of fun and the chance of a free beer at the end of the course.
After nearly missing my start time I had what I thought was a great run down, only to be followed by the winner Arthur Longo who posted a time 11 seconds quicker than mine! It looks like I need to practice gate bashing a little more. As the day wore on, the fog rolled in and the beer flowed out of bottles and I can't wait to race again next year!