The Craftsbury Outdoor Center and its Green Racing Project are excited to announce a new event, the Craftsbury Spring Tour, scheduled for March 19th through 21st. Racers from UNH, Dartmouth, Stratton, and Burke have already signed up, along with the GRP, guaranteeing strong fields.
An expansion of the traditional Craftsbury Spring Fling, the weekend will offer a number of different racing opportunities, including an NRL-sanctioned stage race modeled after the Tour de Ski, a BKL race, a night sprint, and a citizens’ race. Racers will encounter three race formats which, while popular internationally, are rarely seen in domestic racing: a prologue, a continuous pursuit, and a Gundersen pursuit.
In addition, the weekend offers plenty of fun. There will be a barbecue with live music, and the Center is offering deals on lodging and meals. We hope racers will stay at the Center, avoid the hassle of driving, and enjoy the company of their friends and competitors!
A prologue on Friday afternoon will kick off the weekend. The 3-kilometer freestyle event will be used to seed Saturday’s mass start, and will be combined with Saturday’s race to determine start times for Sunday’s pursuit. The race will be scored for USSA points as well.
Saturday morning will feature a 12-kilometer skiathlon (continuous pursuit), seeded off of the previous afternoon’s results. While continuous pursuits are fairly common on the World Cup and are a staple of U23/World Junior Championships, the Olympics, and World Championships, they are extremely rare in the U.S – this is a great chance to get some practice. With a mass start and an equipment change, it promises to be exciting out there! Times from this event will be combined with the prologue to determine start time in Sunday’s pursuit, and the race will be scored for USSA points.
At 3 p.m., we’ll be holding a race for Bill Koch League skiers. The skate races range from a few hundred meters for lollipoppers (2nd grade and younger) up to 3 kilometers for J3s (7th and 8th grade). A theme will be announced shortly; costumes are encouraged!
Just before dusk, there will be a 200 meter “dash” with the winners receiving bonus seconds towards the overall standings. The freestyle sprints will be held as a stake race, like the Elite Sprints at the American Birkebeiner. The course consists of four lanes, each 100 meters long, and each with its own post to ski around before returning to the start/finish. Preliminary heats will consist of four racers, with only the winner of each heat advancing. If the field size is uneven, the highest-seeded skiers will be given a bye. In the final, the top four racers will receive 20, 15, 10, and 5 bonus seconds, which will be removed from their combined time thus far.
Saturday evening, we’ll have an awards ceremony for the top finishers in the prologue and skiathlon. The event will be complete with a barbecue (free for racers) and live entertainment from local musician Matt Renaud.
The culminating event of the Spring Tour will be a freestyle Gundersen pursuit based on the combined results of the previous two days of racing. Racers will have 15 kilometers to make up time on the overall leaders – or maintain a lead they already have! The first skier across the finish line is the weekend’s winner, but USSA points will be awarded based on ski time, offering a double incentive to ski your hardest, no matter where you are in the start order.
The traditional Spring Fling citizens’ races – 15 and 30 kilometers – will be mass-started after the pursuit. This is a great opportunity for those who are not interested in a full weekend of racing, or who want a longer race.
Awards ceremonies for the overall winners as well as the Spring Fling winners will be held after the race.
Housing and Meal Deals
We’re running weekend specials for both lodging and lodging/race entry combos. $200 gets you a room in Cedar and all the race entries – two nights, four races, five meals – or if you want to keep things à la carte, we’re offering Spring Tour racers a 15% room discount for the weekend days. Avoid driving to the races each morning – simplify your life and stay with us! It should be fun to have the best racers staying together in Cedar Lodge. The dorms are filling up fast, though, so reserve your spot now!
Registration is through SkiReg and closes on March 17th. Lodging can also be reserved on SkiReg when you sign up. A link to registration is available at www.craftsbury.com/springtour.