The men’s 15K Classic event at yesterday’s Oberstdorf stage of the first annual Tour de Ski was won by Franz Goering on the Atomic Multi waxless ski. Snow temp. at race time was 0 C./32 F. and air temp. was .5C./33 F. The track was natural snow. It was warm enough before race time for the classic track to become highly glazed, but it remained cold enough for the track to stay firm and not become soft. It started to snow shortly before the start with snow that was still cold and dry enough to cause the skis with klister to ice up, yet the fresh snow was wet enough that the skis with hard wax could not get any grip. Germany’s Franz Goering easily glided by top Scandinavian racers who had to pull over at hill tops to scrape ice off the klister on their skis.
â€œThe skis waxed with klister were doing fine on the flats and easy uphills,â€ observed Peter Juric, Atomic’s International Nordic Race Director. â€œIt was on steep uphills that the skis with klister were having trouble. You do not get a long and fast glide going up the hills. When your glide slows down, you ice up in conditions like these. Franz had perfect grip and super fast glide. He made it look too easy!â€
The Atomic Multi is a waxless ski that uses a mixture of rubber, cork and a soft polyethylene in the kick zone. It was made specifically for conditions like Oberstdorf yesterday. When the temperature is right at freezing and a wet snow is coming down it is almost impossible to get the right combination of klister and hard wax on a ski. Most companies make skis like Atomic’s Multi with a special mix of materials for the kick zone as opposed to a machined in pattern. What makes the Multi unique is that it has more rubber mixed in its kick zone than used by other brands. This means that Atomic’s Multi can be used in a broad range of conditions starting at freezing and going up in temperature. It can not be too warm to get excellent grip and glide with the Multi. Atomic is currently introducing a racing ski with a machined pattern that will be effective in hard wax conditions as well. This ski will be available to the public in fall of 2007.