Kristina Strandberg (Factory Team) won the women's 5km classic SuperTour in Aspen Colorado yesterday in a time of 16:49.5. Strandberg won by 47.6 seconds over Nicole De Yong (SVSEF/Fischer-Craft). Martina Stursova (Rossignol) took third, 3 second in back of De Yong. A resurgent Krstina Trygstad-Saari (BSF) and Karin Camenisch (Rossignol) rounded out the top five.
Camenisch and Strandberg are currently locked in a battle for the overall SuperTour lead, with Strandberg on top 310 to 302 entering yesterday's race. Early season leader Laura Valaas is in Europe to race on the World Cup and has dropped to third. With Camenisch scheduled to return to Switzerland to join the World Cup, it appears that Strandberg is in the driver's seat. Camenisch has already won the SuperTour sprint title.
In the men's 10km event, Andre Golovko (Factory Team) edged Zack Violett (Fischer-Craft) by 16.7 seconds. Junior Noah Hoffman was an impressive third with James Southam (Rossignol) and Brayton Osgood (Fischer-Craft) rounding out the top top five.
Overall SuperTour leader Garrott Kuzzy (CXC) was not present. Lars Flora was the top ranked skier, entering the race in fourth place. He finished sixth to move up at least one spot in the standings. Flora missed the early part of the SuperTour schedule. As last year's SuperTour champion, he was in Europe racing on the World Cup. Golovko's victory will jump him into the top five in the overall standings.
The top end of both the women's and men's field were quite competitive, but the races lacked depth, with 13th place in the men's race finishing almost three and a half minutes out. A majority of the field consisted of regional skiers. In an interesting switch, more women participated than men – 45 to 41.
The SuperTour continues tomorrow with the famed Owl Creek Chase – 25km Freestyle point-to-point. The Aspen SuperTour races are part of the Aspen Nordic Festival. More information on the four day festival can be found here.