After over a week of excellent, firmly packed tracks and great hardwax skiing in West Yellowstone MT, things turned nasty overnight prior to the second of two SuperTour races, the men's and women's 12km classic.
Can you spot the track in this picture? Actual race course photo.
Fast-falling steady snow piled up on the race course and by the time the elite women were on course, the so-called “track” was virtually obliterated, turning what would have been a fast, easy course into a serious technical challenge. The conditions were not favorable for strong “power” skiers but rather those with the biggest V02 who could keep their technique together and manage to get decent kick and glide on the finicky, wiggly, glazed, and uneven remains of the track.
Despite the wacky conditions, for the most part the results showed familiar names at the top, with a few exceptions and surprises.
Wendy Wagner Powering Home Just Before The Stadium
In the women's race, Wendy Wagner hammered out a whopping 1 minute, 18 second lead over Lindsay Williams of Northern Michigan University. Dartmouth's Alison Crocker continued to impress, taking third behind Williams on a tough day with 91 of the nations best women racing. Subaru Factory team skier Abigail Larson and Colorado University's Estonian “import” Jana Rehemaa rounded out the top 5.
James Southam, Off To A Solid Start
Atomic skier David Chamberlain, who started 30 seconds behind Freeman, was second-fastest while Russian Ivan Babikov managed third, 32 seconds out. The best finish from a U.S. Ski Team member was Justin's brother Kris Freeman, who had to settle for fifth today at +43 seconds. Kris finished 23 seconds ahead of teammate Andrew Johnson who was sixth.