Garrott Kuzzy (USST/CXC Team Vertical Limit) made a statement today saying that he is easily the fastest skier on the continental circuit. He skied well ahead of the pack in his heats, saving himself the time to shake out his arms on the corners, and coast across the finish line with ease.
Snow fell during today’s sprint races, on a course in the openness of Lindley Park. The course was a maze of off-camber turns and long sloping climbs and easy descents. It has a general up-hill persuasion in the first half with most of the climb falling in the first few hundred meters, and most racers held their positions until a final low-grade climb and turn followed by a short 3 meter high step-turn climb into the finish area.
A dominant force on the scene, Kuzzy skied unchallenged through the heats to the A final.
“I was a little disappointed with my qualifier. I did manage to get enough behind in the quarter to play it safe.”
Is this domination strategy, or just domination? Kuzzy’s got the fitness, but also hints at a greater plan. “You can’t lose if you are always in the lead,” he says, in a jovial tone. I wonder, but at the same time you can’t deny him that small truth.
When asked if there was any reason why he continued to ski hard while sitting so far in the lead, Kuzzy explained that he’s got his mind on the big picture. He is not on the start list for tomorrow’s classic race to focus on getting some good training for “bigger” races down the road.
“We need to be strong for bigger races. I’m going to sit out for tomorrow to get some good training.”
Mikey Sinnott (SVSEF) made use of today’s grueling final climb during his semi and A final where he hung in the middle of the pack and twice made his move to advance and eventually take second overall. Sinnott was happy with his result after feeling a litle sick before last week’s SuperTour races in West Yellowstone.
“It was a windy course and really open. I was trying not to lead so I could take the draft,” Sinnott says after the awards ceremony. “It has good, gradual climbs and I was trying to keep my starts easy.”
Sinnott explained how this course caters to some of the things he’s been working on back in Sun Valley.
“We’ve been doing lots of cornering work, and it’s a lot harder to do on roller skis. Simi [Hamilton] is a really good downhill skier so that was a factor.” Simi Hamilton also trains with Sinnott in Sun Valley, and finished fourth today.
Chris Cook, racing for his startup team Steinbock Racing, finished third.
“I definitely felt best finishing. I’m not quite in top form and so haven’t been getting up to speed until later in the races.”
But, Cook knew he had the speed to crush it in the final stretch, as he obviously waited to make his move after the final climb to pass Simi Hamilton in the A final for third place.
“Skiing towards the finish I saw Mikey’s move, and squeezed in behind in the back.”
This was the first full day of sprint qualifiers with heats, and so was the first chance a lot of these racers got to see how their speed would help them in the qualifier, but how their endurance would carry them through the heats to perform well in the finals.
Tomorrow’s classic race will be held at Bohart Ranch here in Bozeman. New snow is continuing to fall and the temperature is stable around 15F with a slight breeze.
We’ll have updates for start lists and results as soon as they pop up in the timing booth, so stay tuned for more SuperTour racing!