Toko: US Nationals 20/30k Skate Race Report

FasterSkierJanuary 7, 2011
Liz on the last descent with a minute lead still hungry for more. Photo: Toko.

The waxing for today’s skate races was predictable and straightforward.  The organizers did add a bunch of freshly shot new snow overnight which made it necessary to add XCold to the HF Blue.  So the wax was LF Blue, HF Blue/XCold mix, followed by a top coat of JetStream Blue.  The Blue structure was excellent.  Most people do not understand Nordlite XCold even still.  XCold is an additive that increases durability and hardens the base, but that is not the most important thing that it does practically.  What it really does is make the skis faster at slower speeds (ie breakaway speed).  For this reason, it is superb in freshly shot manmade.  If conditions are simply fast and cold, it is not needed.  If it is slow and cold, it is the ticket (either mixed with Blue or as its own layer in extreme cases).

Today was one of the most exciting and stimulating race days that I can remember.  In the men’s race, there were 3 skiers who battled it out: Lars Flora, Noah Hoffman, and Tad Elliot.  These three were very close throughout the entire race, despite the individual start format.  On the last lap of the 30k skate, with about 1.5k left, Tad was 2 seconds up on Noah and even with Lars.  I was happy for Tad that he finished .10 ahead to take the win.  The impressive thing was that Noah and Tad had excellent information and simply kept doing what they had to do in order to win.  Unfortunately for them though, Lars is skiing fast!  They kept on having to suffer more and more in order to match Lars.  It was an extreme game of “up the ante”.  I am sure that had Lars followed the other two in the start order, he would have won.  Congratulations to all 3 of these warriors on a great day and thank you for inspiring those who witnessed the battle.

The women’s race was another story.  Evidently Liz Stephen skis really well when she is pissed.  She took the race out with intensity and simply took the race.  Her effort level, tempo, and will to win was simply unmatched today.  She earned the big win, that’s for sure.

Click here for the rest of the photos from today’s skate race.

I forgot to include the link yesterday to the classic race photos and full report.  Click here to see that.


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