Only the organizers of cross country's SuperTour Finals in Presque Isle, Maine, last month could prevent a Central Division clean sweep of the top three spots in the inaugural Award for SuperTour Race Organizers (ASTRO) competition.
In the competition to name the best SuperTour organizer of the season, Telemark, Wis., took top honors, winning the distinction of Best Organizer of the 2006 SuperTour. Second place went to Presque Isle, Maine, with third and fourth, respectively, to Madison, Wis., and Mount Itasca, Minn., near Duluth.
The 2006 SuperTour was organized in nine cities, and those sites were ranked by the FIS technical delegates assigned to oversee them. Each site was ranked on a 1,000 point scale, using 14 categories, U.S. Nordic Director Luke Bodensteiner.
Telemark was the clear winner, earning 816 of the possible 1,000 points, compared to Presque Isle's 747. Along with Mount Itasca, Telemark scored the highest of all sites in the technical areas, which is key to a successful competition, according to Bodensteiner.
The downtown sites of Minneapolis and Madison competed for top honors in the categories of media, spectators and atmosphere, with Minneapolis earning the top score for media coverage, and Madison scoring highest in the number of spectators (over 4,000), and in the race atmosphere it created.
2006 U.S. Cross Country Championship organizer Soldier Hollow, Utah, was perhaps the most fun place for the teams to visit this season, scoring the highest in the category of social events. And despite its frigid reputation, Fairbanks, Alaska, clearly took best care of its spectators and teams, earning the highest scores in the spectator and team area classification.
The 2007 SuperTour schedule will be announced at the USSA Congress May 11-13. For more information on the winners of the 2006 SuperTour, SuperTour Sprint, SuperTour Distance, and FIS North America Marathon Cup, see http://www.usskiteam.com/public/news.php?dId=3&sN=1&aId=2164 .