Toko: Reports from the Winners

FasterSkierFebruary 15, 2011

Masters World Cup 2011

Race Wax Recommendations for the Masters World Cup 2011 will be posted on Here is a direct link to the page.  They will also be tweeted (TokoUS) and posted to the Toko US Facebook page.

Evelyn Dong leaving a pack of elite wave men behind on a gradual downhill.

Field Report from the Winner – Boulder MT Tour

The 2011 Boulder Mountain Tour was my fifth year doing this race, which I can hardly believe. 2007 was my first BMT and I’d like to say that I’ve come a long way in experience. Although, sometimes I feel like I’m right back at where I started. Winning in 2007 came as a surprise – I had done only one 30 km before that in my life and that race was more of a tour, not a race. This year, I came to the start line with a few more marathon races under my belt. I also came to the start line on time… which was a first for me. I can’t say I have everything figured out about race prep but I’ve learned a few things along the way and it helped me out before this year’s Boulder.

I started testing skis one hour before the start. Before a longer race like the Boulder, I don’t need too much of a warmup but I also still need time to test skis AND get a decent warmup in. Testing was simple because I kept it simple. I waxed two pairs of skis the same way, starting with a Toko HF Blue underlayer and the same top coat. Waxing two pairs of skis differently may work for some people but I need to have as little to think about as possible on race morning. So, I preferred not to complicate things. My stiffer ski was clearly faster so I took those off and continued my warmup on my softer pair.

I’ve learned from this race that there is little opportunity to cool down skiing so I packed my race bag with running shoes so that I could throw those on at the finish and jog. After placing my bag, which also had my recovery food in it and a dry shirt, at the right sign, I made it to the start with time to spare.

And then, we were off! When the gun goes off, I try to forget everything else except the race. I don’t think about if my skis are slower or faster than the girls’ next to me, how much I was able to sleep the night before, if I had a good enough warmup, or anything else that I won’t be able to change at that moment. Even if everything didn’t perfectly leading up to the race, I pretend that it did. I think about my plan for the race and adapt that to how the race is playing out. And, I’ve realized that there is only so much you can control during the race – I have to trust all the work that I put in this summer and fall.

I can’t deny that skis made a huge difference for the race. I received an email from Ian Harvey the night before the race in which he repeatedly emphasized importance of stiffer skis in these conditions. A synopsis of the email would go like this:

1. use stiffer skis

2. stiffer skis will be faster

3. you could use soft skis but they will be slow

4. therefore, use stiff skis

Needless to say, I was heavily influenced by this.

Just in case you thought I’ve matured as a ski racer and have everything lined up, I did manage to forget to bring a ski jacket to the start so I had to warmup in expedition-weight down jacket. If you saw someone looking uncomfortably hot and ready to strip down to their race suit, that was probably me.

Matt Liebsch Making his move.

Field Report from the Winner – City of Lakes Loppet

This past weekend was the big city Nordic event of the year, the City of Lakes Loppet!  I always get excited to race events close to home, because I love having my family at races, home cooked meals and sleeping in my own bed. Last year I was able to sweep both the sprints and the Loppet.  Last year was a bit different as I was training and racing fulltime.  This year I am working a lot at Gear West and training a bit more like a fulltime dad.   Speaking of being a Dad, I was able to watch my son compete in his first ski race; Grant’s wax-less kid’s skis seemed to be flying with a little HelX on them!

Saturday night was a full out sprint drag race.  I was able to get a good start in my final and thanks to some rocket skis, hold on for the win!  In those dirty racing conditions it was important to have a Moly base layer to repel dirt. HelX sprays were also running very well.

Sunday featured the 33km freestyle Loppet.  The weather was warm and a little snow had fallen over night.  The conditions were on the slower side.  I tired 3 different pairs of skis and I found medium flex ski with a universal grind to be very good compared to my soft cold ski and stiff warm ski.  The CXC team raced very well and placed 1st, 2nd and 4th!

Matt Liebsch

(Photos from Matt’s wife, Marybeth Liebsch)

Men's Podium (Toko waxed athletes were top 4 Men and also won Women's race and both Men's and Women's Sprints)

Field Report from the Winner – Lake Placid Loppet

Going back to 2007 Lake Placid Loppet weather sub zero warming to 25 by finish of the race.  First time I used HF Blue with JS rotocorked. Also did Chambo’s Rotocorked skis in Biathlon waxing building around 7 am. Skis were awesome start to finish and surprisingly won by a margin over Chambo Justin Freeman and Eli Enman.

Now 2011 got there unfortunately in standard fashion  01:30 Saturday Feb 5th with Wife and 5 kids in tow. Some unnamed Jacked Up Old Idiot killed the battery while waiting for kids to to finish High xc practice in front of the high school adding two car changes and a three hour delay to the departure fro mthe greater Rochester area.

Weather was predicted low around zero warming up to 25 by finish of race. Ski’s were waxed and scraped with HF Blue and fine grinds.  ( I was responsible for Wife’s skiis also. Don’t mess up your wifes skis. )

Woke up at 6 am temperature 5deg F rotocorked JS Blue on both pairs, Sky was blue..  Arrived at Van Hovenburgh 9am for a 10am start sunny and  WARM.. Oh Noooo!!!

No other options but race skis So warm shed long underwear top and hat.

Not worried although could have done better with HF red and JS Red. I was tranquil it was what it was and HF Blue with JS Blue cover has a huge range and  was confident it work superbly.

After action report my skis were good and won by large margin..  More importantly my Wife who does not train that much and had to be forced to the line since she was surprisingly tired, felt unprepared, and I had entered the previous day. She won the 25km skate race and reported that her skis were awesome and that she felt sorry for all the men around her because their skis were slow compared to hers.

Conclusion HF Blue w JS blue is my go to wax combination.

Duncan Douglas,

Torin Koos Injures Shoulder at Norwegian Cup Sprint Race – Extent not yet Known

Torin and Andy advanced well through to the final and toed the line together for the first time in to long a while. Two hundred meters into the final a Norwegian skier got tangled with Torin who got spun a little sideways but stayed up unlike the unlucky Norwegian who went down hard. This put Torin and Andy near the back of the field as they left the stadium into a hard right hander. With this fast crowd there is scant opportunity to pass until the final long hill back to the stadium, which is where Torin had successfully put the hurt on both his 1/4 and semi heat mates. Here, Torin made his planned move and went around Andy and was up to 3rd place when suddenly his right arm refused to obey any commands. The right shoulder had become partially dislocated and stayed that way for about 30 seconds. As they approached the final turn into the stadium Torin’s shoulder went back into its proper location. By then the finish order was pretty well set and they all finished in a single file with ski tip to ski tail and Torin and Andy taking 4th and 5th respectively. A very solid US showing in the lead up to the World Champs. These two can make up a medal winning sprint relay team. As for the shoulder we’re thinking that at some point in the race someone must have stepped on his pole basket to pull on his arm while it was extended back.

The final heat enters the stadium with Gloerson in the lead.

Viewing this through the lens of hindsight we feel the elation of having maintained our steady march to being in best the form by World Champs in two weeks and a general validation of our approach this year to training Torin.

The shoulder issue is certainly a serious problem to work around. It will mean no poles skiing at least for this week as we assess the shoulder day to day. We have some great medical support here given by the Norwegian Ski Federation PT and she has arranged for Torin to get an MRI to asses the extent of the damage when we move down to Drammen in 5 days. But at this point we plan to stay the course with the focus on 12 days from now but will skip the World Cup in Drammen next Friday.

Photo and text from Scott Johnston, Head Coach, MOD

Follow Torin and the MOD Squad at

(Best wishes to Torin and a quick recovery!)

Toko app.

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