Natasha Naryshkina got her second SuperTour victory in as many days, coming out the right end of a three-way sprint to win Sunday's City of Lakes Loppet in Minneapolis. After winning the freestyle sprint downtown the day before, Naryshkina proved just as strong over the 35km course, holding off Rossignol teammate Karin Camenisch and third place finisher Anna McLoon (Atomic.) These three finished with 4 seconds of eachother and almost a minute and a half ahead of fourth place finisher Erin Hood (APUNSC) who in turn beat out Subaru team racer Caitlin Compton. Also in the top ten were Diane Tremblay, Muriele Huberli, Kate Underwood, Kim Rudd, and Laurie Wesolek.
Brayton Osgood 1 1/66 1/526 1:07:48 3:54
1004 Matt Weier 2 2/66 2/526 1:07:50 3:54
1006 Adam Swank 3 1/38 3/526 1:07:52 3:55
1007 Matthew Liebsch 4 3/66 4/526 1:07:54 3:55
1001 David Chamberlain 5 2/38 5/526 1:07:57 3:55
1098 Alex Churikov 6 4/66 6/526 1:07:58 3:55
1002 Chad Giese 7 5/66 7/526 1:07:58 3:55
1011 Andrew Hunter 8 6/66 8/526 1:08:12 3:56
1003 Colon Rodgers 9 7/66 9/526 1:08:35 3:57
1027 Joey Graci 10 8/66 10/526 1:09:52 4:01
That the marathon race happened at all is proof of the community support for cross-country skiing in Minneapolis/St. Paul, as warm temperatures and lack of snow during the previous week threatened to force postponement or cancellation of the race. Some unexpected snow mid-week and an excellent volunteer shoveling effort, combined with some overnight temperatures that dipped low enough for effective snow-making, allowed the 656 finishers to participate in the popular event as scheduled.
From Corey Coogan:
I spoke with City of Lakes Loppet race winner Brayton Osgood the morning after the event. He gave a more detailed account of how the race developed and what occurred on the finishing stretch. He also discussed his ski selection and wax and commented on the experience of competing in sprints and finishing in a city atmosphere.
Osgood skis for Alpina/Madshus and trains with Maine Winter Sports Center.
According to Osgood, the men skied the bulk of the race in a pack of ten or eleven. By the time they got out of the hillier, wooded section, the pack had broken down slightly to approximately eight. Chad Giese took the incentive to pull the final two or three kilometers of the lake. Andy Hunter also fell off on the lake, reducing the pack to eight. With one kilometer to go, just prior to leaving the lake, the order was Giese, Osgood, and then Dave Chamberlain. In the finishing straight (the previous night’s sprint course), athletes had not only to contend with the â€œroad furnitureâ€ (lamp posts, benches, and trees), but also skiers completing the 10-kilometer tour or the 35-kilometer classic. This made the stretch just one lane wide and prevented all passing until the final meters. When the path opened up, Giese went straight while both Osgood and Chamberlain headed left so they were three abreast and driving towards the line. Osgood says, â€œI felt my pole break, but just kept heading for the line. I was moving on Chad and I think I would have got it anyway, but. There was no line in the snow, which made things kind of interesting. All of a sudden, I was into the volunteers. I saw Weier [second] and Swank [third] come across behind me.â€ Osgood didn’t see or hear the Chamberlain and Giese crash into each other during the race, and only after he was across the line turned around to witness a bloodied Chamberlain and Giese come across the line in fifth and seventh, respectively.
Racing in the City:
Osgood: â€œI have to give the organizers and volunteers a lot of credit. I was in the Cities all week, and when they got that little storm and announced on Wednesday that the Loppet was on, I was absolutely shocked.â€
Osgood, who had the opportunity to race in last year’s sprints on Hennepin spoke positively about that experience. â€œRacing on Hennepin was better because there were so many more spectators. It’s a shame that the water didn’t freeze up so that we could have done it again this year.â€ He looks forward to the return of the sprint and finish to Calhoun Square next year when he can return to defend his title.
For complete results, you can visit Online Racing Results: http://www.onlineraceresults.com/race/view_race.php?submit_action=select_result