SuperTour Update

FasterSkierSeptember 10, 2008

Dear SuperTour organizers, officials, teams, media and fans,

Please take a moment to review some highlights from the previous SuperTour season and to preview what to expect for the coming season. The SuperTour continues to drive the development of our nations cross country skiers on their quest to be the best in the world!

Highlights from the 2008 SuperTour Season:

Competitions Carried Out:
20 FIS scored SuperTour competitions at 10 venues across the country 130 men & 133 women scored SuperTour points in 2008.

Overall & Distance winner — men: Ivan Babikov (RUS), won $4,000 grand prize
Overall & Distance winner — women: Kristina Strandberg (SWE), won $4,000 grand prize
Sprint Cup winner — men: Garrott Kuzzy (USA), won $4,000 grand prize
Sprint Cup winner — women: Karin Camenisch (SUI), won $4,000 grand prize
Marathon Cup winner — men: Andrey Golovko (KAZ), won $2,000 grand prize
Marathon Cup winner — women: Kristina Strandberg (SWE), won $2,000 grand prize

Competitors with FIS licenses from 11 nations competed:
56 competitors from outside North America scored points in the series, many in multiple races.

SuperTour 2009 Preview — The East is back in the schedule!
• There is some excitement about this up and coming SuperTour 2009 event schedule. First off, we have made some adjustments to the fall period with two individual races in West Yellowstone, a mid-week sprint in Bozeman and two races in Soldier Hollow all within a ten day period. This allows athletes from afar to fly in to the West and compete in all events during their trip instead of having it stretch out over a longer period of time.

• In addition, we have been coordinating with the Canadians on our schedules and the result is that we will host Canadian National Teams in West Yellowstone and at Bozeman, and we have freed up our schedule so that our U.S. athletes can head to the Whistler Olympic Park for FIS NorAm races December 12,13,14 without missing out on USSA SuperTour/NRL events. This is a great opportunity for Olympic hopeful skiers to experience the 2010 Olympic venue just 14 months before the games.

• After a few years of absence, The East is playing host to the SuperTour with events in Rumford and Stowe, VT.

• It wraps up in Fairbanks Alaska, which played host to a superb SuperTour finale last season.

2009 SuperTour Schedule

Nov. 28-29 West Yellowstone, MT SuperTour 10/15 C, 5/10km F
Dec. 2 Bozeman, MT SuperTour Sprint F
Dec. 6, 7 Soldier Hollow, UT SuperTour Sprint C, 10/15km F
Dec 12-14 Whistler, BC 10/15km C, Spr C,10/20km Pursuit * Not a SuperTour
Jan. 3-8 Anchorage, AK U.S. Short Distance Nationals/SuperTour
Jan. 16-17 Aspen, CO SuperTour 5/10km C, 25/25km F MST
Jan. 24-25 Mt. Itasca, MN SuperTour/Midwest Grand Prix 10/10km C, 10/10km F
Jan. 28 Duluth, MN SuperTour/Midwest Grand Prix Sprint F
Jan. 31-Feb. 1 Telemark, WI 5/10km C, 10/15km F mass-start
Feb. 4 Rumford, ME SuperTour Sprint C
Feb 7 — 8 Stowe, VT SuperTour 5/10km F, 10/15km C
Feb. 14-15 Madison, WI SuperTour/Midwest Grand Prix Team Sprint F & C, US 100
Feb. 21 Hayward, WI American Birkebeiner / SuperTour 52km F mass-start
Mar. 27-29 Fairbanks, AK U.S. Distance Nationals/SuperTour Finals Pursuit, 30/50km C

Preseason Reminders and Rule Changes:
• USSA sanction agreements will be sent out to SuperTour hosts by early September.

• There are changes expected to the FIS ICR's (which are the rules that are used to govern FIS races), so stay tuned to the FIS website for those new rules expected to be available by mid-October.

• Consult your 2009 USSA handbook which should ship out in October as well for a change which will offer a $250 bonus to the fastest qualifier in sprint races. This is designed to reward those athletes who don't “hold back” to “save themselves” for the finals. On the international sprint circuit, you can't hold back and expect to qualify, so athletes need to be using 100 percent effort in qualifying if we expect to have the best sprinters coming from the U.S.!

Tips for SuperTour organizers and TDs:
• Team Captains’ Meetings — keep them concise and consistent from site-to-site. This means using the team captains’ meeting agenda listed in the USSA/FIS rulebook, and sticking to it. There are a lot of instances where the organizers and TDs will want to get opinions and feedback from the head coaches of the main teams. The best time to do this is during official training — then the TCM can be used for information and clarification, not discussion.

• All SuperTour Chiefs of Competition are required to attend a TD seminar at least every second year, and at least once before serving as the Chief of Competition for a SuperTour race. Please be sure your organizing committee meets that requirement — TDs, please also verify that the Chief of Competition you will be working with has been educated, when you receive an assignment. This is a very important step to insure the quality of the Tour.

• Course homologation — FIS is requiring that all Continental Cup sites meet homologation standards to be included for FIS points. Sites without homologated courses will be reviewed over the course of the next couple of years. Bob Gross is the lead for homologation issues, and is available to help your event meet the standards. If your courses are not homologated yet and you haven’t been in touch with Bob, you should be!

• Sequencing of Sprint Finals — when running a sprint race, it is often effective to also include seminfinals and finals for juniors, U-23, masters, etc. In all cases, however, the main SuperTour finals should be run to completion (quarters, semi's, A/B Finals) before any age group finals take place.

SuperTour Images
• did a great job last season with video clips, photos, as well as pre and post-race interviews. This is a great innovation for our fans.

• Organizers, do your best to get the word out about their coming events, and provide post event results, photos and videos as well. Always consider how you can raise the profile of your events and the sport in general.

Add your volunteers to the newsletter mailing list!

• Organizing committee volunteers are the lifeblood of the SuperTour. Keep them informed by adding them to the mailing list for the SuperTour newsletter. If you’d like to add them, send an email to John Farra

John Farra
USSA Nordic Program Director


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