SuperTour action continues this weekend, as the domestic circuit moves from Rumford, ME, to Lake Placid for races on Friday and Saturday.
Organizers are expecting between 325 and 350 athletes competing in a 10 k/6 k classic and a 15 k/10 k freestyle, headlined by competitors from the U.S. Ski Team and the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club.
With two hours until entries closed at noon on Wednesday, Noah Hoffman (USST), Lars Flora (APU), and James Southam (APU) were among the favorites registered for the men’s races, while APU’s Holly Brooks, Sadie Bjornsen, and Morgan Smyth lead the way for women.
Sun Valley’s Mike Sinnott is also registered for both events, while Craftsbury’s Ida Sargent is signed up for Friday’s classic race.
The standard SuperTour prize purse is on the line, paying six athletes deep, including $750 for the winner of each race, $500 for second, and $250 for third.
According to event chair Ethan Townsend, the classic race has been moved from Mt. Van Hoevenberg to the Olympic Jumping Complex due to a lack of snow depth, while the skate race remains scheduled on the biathlon trails at Mount Van Hoevenberg.
“Conditions are okay. They’re not deep enough to set a track—at least, not a really decent, consistent track that doesn’t hit dirt and grass—anywhere on Hoevenberg,” Townsend said.
Even with a snowstorm rolling through the northeast on Wednesday, Townsend said it would be unlikely for the classic race to move back to Mt. Van Hoevenberg.
“We’ve already got things in place and rolling towards this plan,” he said.
At the Jumping Complex on Friday, athletes will race on a two-kilometer loop. The women will complete three laps for six kilometers—one more than originally planned—while men will complete five laps.
At Mt. Van Hoevenberg on Saturday, athletes will ski a five-kilometer loop—three laps for men; two for women.
In addition to serving as a SuperTour, the event is also the opening event of the 12-member Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association circuit. Six athletes of each gender from colleges around the northeast will be competing for qualifying points for the 2011 NCAA Championships in Stowe, VT, and in team competitions, as well.
Nathaniel Herz is a reporter for FasterSkier, who also covers city government for the Anchorage Daily News in Alaska. You can follow him on twitter @nat_herz.