Sunday was another chilly day at the BSF SuperTour races in Bozeman, MT. The event was a classical team-sprint with semifinals in the morning, and finals just after noon. Morning temperatures in the low-teens made for relatively easy wax conditions, however the situation became more and more complex as the day wore on and the temperatures rose into the mid-20’s. Again, the course was firm and fast.
Meeting expectations after they both achieved podium-positions yesterday, the CXC/Salomon duo of Caitlin Compton and Laura Valaas skied away from all competition to earn top honors in the women’s field. Kate Pearson [APU] and Karin Camenisch [BSF Elite] of team Rossignol had a hard day fighting to earn their silver medal. And the young combination of Tazlina Mannix [APU] and Ida Sargeant [Burke Mtn Academy] skied well to earn the bronze medal.
On the men’s side, a trio of teams pulled away from the field early, and battled throughout the 6-lap race (3-laps per team member). In what turned out to be a remarkable competition with several lead changes, the XC Oregon/Alpina-Madshus duo of Marshall Greene and Brayton Osgood achieved the win and a good payday. They narrowly defeated the FSx/SVSEF combination of Colin Rodgers and Zack Simons. In third place was the APU/Rossignol team of James Southam and Anders Haugen.
Compton and Valaas cruised through their semifinal in the morning, and never looked back. They will remain atop the SuperTour leaderboard with this victory. Camenisch will also stay near the top. Valaas skied the fastest splits on all three of her laps, while Compton skied the fastest on two of her three. Only Mannix was able to break up the pattern, posting the fastest split on her final lap.
In a fast men’s race with a lot of double-poling, one of the contenders chose to race on skate skis. Colin Rodgers had the fastest splits for laps 1-3-5, meaning his gamble to double-pole from wire to wire worked out. Showcasing both his strength and stamina, his splits were all within a 3.5 second margin. What came as a bit of a surprise were the splits that APU’s Eric Strabel posted as his team’s anchor-leg. Strabel’s split times were the fastest at the end of each lap, and he may well have been the fastest skier on the course today.
But, the headline for the day deservedly goes to Greene and Osgood. They battled with two other teams throughout all 6-laps, and Osgood managed to out-kick Simons for the victory. Even after 5 of 6 laps, the top-three teams were all within a 2-second margin. It was a fitting end of the weekend for Osgood, whose day culminated early on Saturday. Wearing bib #1 yesterday, he skied to a 17th place finish, and missed out on the knockout rounds. He did smile after today’s race, and was able to joke about yesterday’s misfortunes. The disappointment had transformed into motivation, and the motivation was enough to prevail.
The SuperTour circuit now moves to Sun Valley, with the next race being a classical sprint on December 5th.
Bozeman has only received some 7-8â€ of snow this season, yet the races took place unhindered. The weekend went well, with the help of many volunteers. Thanks to everyone that assisted with the snowmaking efforts (which summed up to several hundred man-hours), shoveling, grooming, officiating, course-marshalling, timing, and all others that made the event a success.
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