Wisconsin native Chris Cook and Swiss skier Karin Camenisch each took first place in today's SuperTour classic sprints on Madison's capitol square, winning by small but clear margins in warm, mushy conditions.
A nice crowd, packed along the start and finish straightaway fences, cheered on each heat in spring-like sunny weather.
The men's final consisted of FSX racer Zack Simons, who placed second to Colin Rodgers in the qualifying round double poling on skate skis, National Sprint Champion Chris Cook (Atomic), Brayton Osgood (Maine Winter Sports Center) and unofficial world 100m record holder Kevin Hochtl. The sprint course finished on a long, very soft and mushy gradual uphill about a quarter of a kilometer long. Simons was in the lead at the bottom of that final uphill straightaway, and for awhile it looked to be a close contest between Chris Cook and Simons as Cook made the most of his kick wax advantage and pulled even with the double-poling Simons, apparently still sticking with his skate skis. Just before the finish however, Chris Cook was able to put a small but clear gap on Simons and took the win in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.
In the women's A Final, it was a contest between APU's Erin Hood, the Rossignol foreign skiers Karin Camenisch and Natasha Naryshkina, and FSX racer Kate Whitcomb from the Maine Winter Sports Center. The skiers stayed right on eachother over the first bridge, which had long since turned to total sugar-mush necessitating a few herringbone steps even with a ton of momentum going into the rise. Coming up the final long straightaway, Camenisch battled hard with Whitcomb and Naryshkina, just winning by less than a ski length ahead of second-place Whitcomb. Naryshkina, who won the qualifying round, took a relatively close third and Erin Hood brought it in a while later for fourth after getting tangled up at the first narrow bridge.
Full results, racer comments, and more photos will be coming soon. Stay tuned!