Continental CupDowntown Sprints Coming To Madison, Wisconsin This Winter.

FasterSkierAugust 12, 2004

A computer-generated depiction of Capitol Square on race day…minus several thousand people. Photo edited by Scott Ackatz

What will the course itself look like as far as terrain, tight corners, width and length of the track, and immediate surroundings / architecture?

“It’s not flat. The course is pretty much a square, 250 meters each side. The start will be on a pretty good sized uphill—you wouldn’t double pole or kick double pole up that, it’s diagonal stride. So the start will be at the bottom of the hill, and you’ll go all the way around and finish at the top of that hill. That’s about 1.2k, and then we’ll also have two artificial uphills—we’ll use big square hay bales [to create the hills.]

“The course will be four tracks [wide] at the start and finish—for about 120 meters. The rest of the course will be about two tracks, but we’re going to have one additional track around the outside for warm-up. It all depends on the grooming part…” (The track will be as wide as possible given an estimated 1-foot minimum snow depth all the way around, or whatever proves necessary.)
“The course will be done by 10 in the morning on Saturday, so people can skate also and we’ll have some other events…demos with companies like Toko, Rossignol, Salomon…and we’ll maybe do a citizen race on Saturday also. Sunday will be the main race. We’ll set the tracks the night before and close the course completely. I just talked today to Salomon, they’re pretty excited about this.”

The race’s location, format, and large number of spectators seem to present a golden opportunity for sponsors. What has been the sponsor interest level so far, and what is the financial outlook as we get closer to snow-season?

“We have 3 anchor sponsors. One is Tyrol Basin, they’re taking care of the snow and that’s probably about $10,000 right there. Another anchor sponsor is Sepp Sport. Sepp Candinas will be chief of the course so he’ll be putting up the course and working with the volunteers and everything. And then my program [Russian Style Ski School]…I’m taking care of [overall event] organization.”

Are you still hunting for other sponsors in addition to the three anchor sponsors?

“Yes, we are looking for sponsors.”

Any word on local and/or national TV coverage?

“Local coverage will be for sure, I’m working right now on the media sponsorships. National…I talked to Luke Bodensteiner about this, and we decided just to go this year, make it happen, make it very good, and maybe next year do a live broadcast. But if it’s a really big crowd of people, OLN might come…it’s really hard to say at this point how much interest we’ll bring for national TV.”

Are you hoping to increase the prize money even farther above the SuperTour standard?

“We were thinking about it, but probably not for this year. Right now we need to plan for the future and budget it.”

Is there a chance this will become an annual event?

“Yes, we’re trying to make it an annual thing. We have plans for the future…it may even be possible to have a World Cup. But it’s kind of early to talk about this…”

Interested sponsors can visit the newly launched website at:

Watch for online registration, coming soon on the same site. Athlete entry fees for the SuperTour race will be roughly $30 to $35.

More information on the Russian Style Ski School:

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