View the mass start (46km skiers only) and some of the top men at the 2009 California Gold Rush, held this past Sunday March 22nd at Royal Gorge in Soda Springs, CA, just minutes from Auburn Ski Club, the site of the 2009 Junior Olympics. This year’s event was marked by a full-on, heavy-duty sierra snowstorm that started the day before the race and continued through the night and throughout the race. Conditions were reasonably good for the first lap (of three), all things considered, thanks to Royal Gorge’s groomers who made a final pass on the course shortly before the start. By the second lap however, racer’s were skating through boot-deep powder and battling signficant winds on the open sections of the course, which also made “visibility” almost an imaginary concept at times.
The men’s race was won by Adam Swank (Fischer-Craft) of Duluth Minnesota, ahead of fellow “Duluthian” Nikolai Anikin (Atomic) and Ian Case (Far West Senior Team) of nearby Truckee, CA. In the women’s race, Katerina Vinogradova of Auburn, CA took the clear win ahead of Bend, Oregon’s Sarah Max, and former NCAA racer for CU, Lenka Palanova (Boulder, CO) who finished third.