Ivan Babikov (CAN) claimed his second straight SuperTour victory, winning a challenging 8km skate race in West Yellowstone. The US Ski Team's Leif Zimmermann and Garrott Kuzzy rounded out the podium.
Babikov turned in another strong performance as he prepares to head to Europe to join the Canadian National Team on the World Cup. After winning Saturday's classic race by a wide margin, the Russian-turned-Canadian and defending SuperTour Champion skied to a 24.5 second victory on a challenging point-to-point course. With the finish line significantly higher than the start, the race favored strong climbers.
Zimmermann and Kuzzy both recovered form sub-par performances in Friday's classic race where they placed 13th and 31st respectively. Said US Development Team Coach Matt Whitcomb, “Today was a great turnaround for both Leif and Garrott. Neither of them were too pleased with their results yesterday, but today's race shows that their fitness is much higher and when they're both challenging Ivan Babikov of Canada, it's promising.”
James Southam (APUNSC/Atomic) turned in his second consecutive strong performance, following up a 5th in the classic event, with a 4th yesterday, 44 seconds behind Babikov.
Tad Elliott (Saab Factory Team) rounded out the top five, rebounding from Friday's disappointing 47th.
108 skiers started the race. Temperatures were in the upper 20's and light snow fell on and off throughout the race.
With the next three SuperTour races canceled due to lack of snow, most of the top athletes are headed to Vernon, British Columbia for two races that will be counted as USSA National Ranking List events.
Leif Zimmermann (Photo: Swix Sport)
Mike Sinnott on his way to 8th place (Photo: Swix Sport)