Lars Flora and Kristina Strandberg continue to hold a tight grip on the Super Tour titles through the weekend sprints in Madison, WI.
Extremely warm temperatures in the mid-fifties melted all of the snow before the weekend, so local volunteers had to raid the snow fridge for backup coverage. The snow was trucked in one hour before the start and volunteers had the 500 meter course covered just before race time. “We were running a lot to warm up,” said Katie Ronsse by phone today. “It was incredible how fast they set the course up.”
Both races used the same 500m course, which included two small climbs and a hairpin corner on an out-and-back configuration. The snow was exceptionally warm and choppy as with most artificial conditions.
SuperTour leader Kristina Strandberg (Saab/Solomon Factory Team) and Nicole DeYong (Fischer) beat Martina Strusova (Rossignol) and Katie Ronsse (APUNSC) by a boot at the line on Saturday’s Skate sprint. Both teams had matching times through the semis and finals.
Heather Zimmerman (CXC) had an exceptional day, finishing third with Kristina Owen over teammates Maria Stuber and JoJo Winters in fourth. Team Lindsey (Lindsey Dehlin/Lindsay Williams USST) were unable to race while Lindsay Williams was dealing with complications from compartment syndrome.
Bryan Cook and Brian Gregg (CXC) won the mens’ final just ahead of David Chamberlin and Colin Rogers (Fischer), while Lars Flora and Mikey Sinnot (Saab/Solomon Factory Team) held a confortable lead in front of Tyson Flaharty (Team FAST) and Sam Naney (CMRP).
Excitement in the mens field included Chambo braking a binding and skiing on mis-patched skis. As a result they missed a tag and fell back to fourth, but were still able to come back for a solid second place.
Sunday was a double-pole derby with skate gear on the relatively flat sprint course. The Lindseys won the women’s final .4 seconds in front of Strandberg and DeYong, while the Strusova/Ronsse duo finished 1 second ahead of Winters/Stuber. Owen and Zimmerman finished fifth three seconds back.
The men’s race was fairly tight with a strong pack throughout most of the race, but Flora and Sinnot had a solid won in the mens’ classic final. Chambo and Rogers just beat Tad Elliot (Factory Team) and Matt Liebsch (CXC). Gregg and Cook of CXC finished fourth, two seconds back.
The weekend’s races were part of the Madison Winterfest, held in Capitol Square. Miscellaneous events included mountain bike races, ski testing, running races, and ski cross events with skiers on twin tip skis. Sounds like a heck of a time!
Updated 2009 SuperTour Points standings:
1) Kristina Strandberg – 414 pts – Saab Salomon/XC Oregon
2) Lindsey Dehlin – 275 pts – US Ski Team
3) Nicole DeYong – 161 pts – SVSEF/Fischer Craft
4) Caitlin Compton – 130 pts – CXC Elite
1) Lars Flora – 224 pts – APU/Saab Salomon
2) David Chamberlain – 201 pts – MWSC/Fischer Craft
3) Leif Zimmermann – 189 pts – US Ski Team
4) Bryan Cook – 176 pts – CXC Elite