FasterSkier recently caught up with Dave Chamberlain during a training block between races in Yellowstone and Bozeman. For those that don’t know him, Dave is one of the most experienced racers on the SuperTour circuit who has been a frequent representative of the US in World Cup and World Championship races. Dave and his wife, biathlete Beth Ann Chamberlain, live and train with the Maine Winter Sports Center in Presque Isle. Dave kicked off his season with a 3rd place finish in the opening SuperTour sprint race in West Yellowstone.
Dave stickin on Mike Sinnott in the season-opening West Yellowstone SuperTour sprint on his way to third place.
FS: How has the transition to snow been? Is there anything in particular that you are focusing on technically at this time of year?
DC: Before the Yellowstone camp I spent a week with the MWSC crew on a ranch in Wyoming. We were able to get five days on snow up in the BearTooth Mts along with some great dryland training at altitude. Even though the conditions were not perfect there or here in Yellowstone for the first few days, I felt that I was able to take advantage of the time on snow. Having done this for so many years it takes less and less time each year to remember how to ski. With the great conditions here in Yellowstone I have put in good time on snow in and around the races last weekend. For technique I have worked on just about everything over the past two weeks. After I race a few times something always comes up that needs focus.
FS: What races are you focusing on the most this year?
DC: My first goal is to qualify for the World Cups in Canada, which means having a good showing in the Supertour races through nationals. Winning the overall Supertour title is also a goal.
FS: How are you liking living in â€œThe Countyâ€? I know some people have had a hard time being up there for more than a year or two. What do you do for fun up there (besides 5 hour runs, rollerski intervals, etc.?)
DC: I grew up in a town just like Caribou; to me The County feels like home. I understand that not everyone appreciates the lifestyle that The County offers, but for us it is a perfect place to train. Also there is no lack of enthusiasm for Nordic skiing there – the communities have done an amazing job building and maintaining the Nordic venues. For fun? Cindy’s Sub Shop makes a mean fish chowder.
FS: Any predictions for who will win the overall World Cup this year?
DC: If I were a betting man I would probably put money on one of the Germans, although it would be nice to see one of us Americans or a Canadian at the top this year.
FS: Ok just curious any idea how many pair of skis you have owned over the course of your ski career so far?
DC: That is a good question. I will say that my favorite pair of skis that I have ever owned was a skinny pair of Atomic red sleds when I was about ten. I really loved those skis. If I were to take a stab at that question, I would say over fifty but less than a thousand.
FS: You’ve been at this for awhile and seen guys come and go on the US circuit. What keeps you going?
DC: Lack of a better idea? Seriously, I really do like the day to day of preparing for ski races.
FS: If you could win any race in the world, which one would it be?
DC: The Lake Placid Loppet.
FS: If you could play paintball with any 7 world cup skiers and have the event televised on a major US network with your choice of a soundtrack and a handpicked cheerleader squad, which energy drink do you think one of the skiers other than yourself would be least likely to choose for post-game recovery if they didn’t lose?
DC: Hard to say: I have yet to taste a sports drink that I didn’t like. Is this one of those trick questions?
FS: No, what do you mean? Ok well anyway this next one may seem a little off topic and pointless, but just for kicks: it seems like a lot has changed in the US ski world in the past ten years as far as development goes. What are your thoughts on junior and senior development in the US? In the big-picture, what is being done well and what needs to be done better?
DC: Seems to me that things are headed in a good direction. I think it is finally being accepted that the college programs can produce skiers with the skills to make a jump internationally. Just look at the top five at the opening Supertour in Yellowstone. A handful of these guys are fresh out of college within a year or two. To me this is a good sign, raising the level all around.
With the number of programs around the country that are offering good support for junior and senior athletes alike, there is no reason now that these athletes should not make the big jump from Supertour podium to World Cup. The number of programs out there that are offering year round support is an opportunity that was not available when I was coming onto the scene just a few years ago. The next goal we need to achieve is a domestic racing series that has a seamless transition from podium to World Cup points. This is not the case right now.
FS: More importantly, what should your thousands of fans on FasterSkier get you for Christmas?
DC: A new skateboard.
FS: Thanks for sharing your wisdom and good luck in the upcoming races!