Norwegian rockets Sigrid Aas and Petter Eliassen were victorious in Tuesday evening's Tour of the Golden Heart Spring Series opener.
The men's race began at 7:00PM, and a gradually increasing breeze and slowly falling temperatures made conditions seem a little colder for the many spectators who had grown accustomed to the conditions during the women's race.
The fastest skiers went out toward the front of the field of 37. Leif Zimmerman of the USST and Bridger Ski Foundation (Bozemen, MT), who was the 10Km classic champion on the Birch Hill trails at the 2003 Junior Olympics, was the first skier out of the gate, wearing bib number 20, and was the early leader.
Starting two-and-a-half minutes behind Zimmerman was 2008 NCAA Champion Marius Korthauer of the Alaska Nanooks, now skiing for Rossignol. Korthauer gained a few seconds on Zimmerman early, Petter Eliassen, starting 30 seconds behind Korthauer, took over the lead at most of the early timing positions.
These three skiers spend most of the race in that order, but within 15-20 seconds of one another. Eliassen had about 10 seconds on Korthauer with two to three kilometers to go. Korthauer was able to narrow that gap to four seconds by the finish, but could get no closer. The final top three were Eliassen, Korthauer (+4.2 seconds) and Zimmerman (+13.2 seconds). APUNSC coach Frode Lillefjell was fourth (+1:17) and UAF skier Vahur Teppan was fifth (+1:22).
Among juniors, Michael Mattson of APU was first (6th overall). David Norris of FAST was second junior (10th overall) and Ray Sabo of UAF was third junior in 12th overall.