The 2007-2008 SuperTour season began under cold sunny skies in West Yellowstone, Montana. Last year's women's SuperTour Sprint Champion Laura Valaas picked up where she left off, narrowly edging Switzerland's Karin Camenisch in a photo finish. On the men's side, CXC's Garrott Kuzzy skied a tactical final and used a blistering finish to take the top spot.
Valaas and Camenisch posted the top times in the qualifying round, with Camenisch earning the poll position. Both women won each of their heats on the way to the final and were matched with Katie Ronsse (U of Denver) and Kasandra Rice (APUNSC). Valaas led up the long climb and had several meters on Camenisch heading into the final 200 meters. Camenisch charged hard, closing the gap as the two crossed the line neck and neck. Officials had to turn to the photo finish camera, and Valaas came away with another victory. Ronsse took third and Rice fourth.
In the men's race, Kuzzy dominated from wire to wire, winning the qualification round by nearly a second over Michael Sinnott (SVSEF) who was another 3.3 seconds ahead of third place qualifier Leif Zimmerman (USST). Both Kuzzy and Sinnott were untouchable through the heats – cruising to several easy victories. In the final, Kuzzy trailed after the first lap on the two lap course, appearing to be just hanging on in fourth place. By the time the skiers rounded back into view at the top of the final climb, Kuzzy had pulled into second and was charging hard. The CXC star was able to pull away from former Dartmouth College standout Sinnott for the victory. David Chamberlain (MWSC) skied all the way up to third, after qualifying in the 15th position and Even Sletten (University of Utah) took fourth.
The course was firm and well prepared. Skiers started on a 200 meter straight-away before dopping down a gradual downhill. A short steep climb immediately dropped back down to the base of the long gradual climb to the finish straight. The women did one lap, and the men did a second round on the hills.
There were several significant crashes throughout the heats, including in the fourth men's quarterfinal when leaders Leif Zimmerman and Reid Pletcher with a comfortable lead, got tangled up in the final 200 meters ending their day early.
Full results can be found here.
Kuzzy making his move… (Photo Credit: Jen Mygatt)
(Photo Credit: Doug Bernard, Toko Tech Team)