It was a familiar sight at the finish line in the freestyle team sprint in Caribou, Maine for the opening event of the TAMC Spring Series. Temperatures were in the high 20s with gusts of wind up to 20 mph on the fast course. Each team member raced the 1.1km course twice instead of the usual three laps. Three teams moved on from each semi final for a six team final.
In the women’s race, Canadian Dasha Gaizova got a gap for the early lead on the first lap to tag off to Canadian teammate Brittany Webster. CXC’s Laura Valaas took over the lead when Webster went down on one of the down hills which claimed several skiers throughout the evening. CXC teammate Caitlin Compton extended the lead and the CXC duo finished the race with a comfortable lead, like they did in the US National Team Sprint in January.
Canadia's Gaizova and Webster finished second ahead of USST’s teammates Tazlina Mannix and Elizabeth Stephen. Fourth place went to the University of New Mexico alumni team of Subaru’s Kristina Strandberg and Rossignol’s Martina Stursova. Fifth place went to the hometown MWSC team of Beth Anne Chamberlain and Hailey Johnson who finished ahead of SVSEF teammates of FSx’s Nicole DeYong (FSx) and USST’s Morgan Arritola.
In the men’s race a pack of three teams separated from the field on the first lap. On the final lap USST’s Torin Koos controlled the race up the final climb slowing the pace and almost allowing the fourth and fifth place teams to join the pack. On the final downhill Koos made a move and held the lead to the line, giving him and teammate FSx’s Zach Simons the win.
Canadian National teammates Brent McMurtry and Alex Harvey took second passing the team of Colin Roger’s and Leif Zimmerman in the final meters of the race. The battle for fourth was tight with the team of Canadian Chris Buttler and Rossignol’s Josh Smullin coming around CXC’s Bryan Cook and Brian Gregg in the finishing lanes. The Canadian team of P. Neuman and L. Valjas finished sixth.
Full Results may be viewed at:
Racing continues this weekend in northern Maine with the US Distance National 15/30km Pursuit and a 30/50km Freestyle.
Valaas anchoring with a big lead