We’ve only had one day of Spring Series and it has already been a ton of fun! This is the strongest field we have skied in this year—better than US Nationals, better than West Yellowstone and Bozeman in November—and there is no lack of inspiration to be had on the trails. Almost all of the big names in US skiing are here, and the field is not just strong at the top, as many of the NCAA skiers and juniors are here for one more shot at competition after NCAA Championships and Junior Nationals.
And in a year defined by the lack of snow and heroic efforts to hold races, it is only fitting that we are racing on a short loop up at Craftsbury, where the crew has made a 2.5 km course its labor of love and is holding the season finale after a week of 80-degree temperatures in New England. It’s been an amazing year in spite of it all up here.
We came up here midweek to test things out and look at the snow…
Needless to say there was a little more snow than after all that 80-degree weather, but amazingly the conditions are holding and the courses are covered and fair for racing.
Today we settled right back into a routine that we have become accustomed to this year: warm up and cool down on foot, race on loops.
Heidi heads to her start with Craftsbury’s unbelievable fleet of snow moving machinery as a backdrop.
With the course closed for everything except racing, all of the athletes took their first skiing strides of the day when they left the start gate!
MK explodes out of the blocks.
Flying through a ribbon of snow: grass and mud surrounds the course on all sides and spectators are urged to stay off the trails to preserve the snow.
MK hammers home up the final climb.
Hans, ready to go.
Alum David Sinclair has had an amazing end to his season: he was 2nd and 3rd in the final Eastern Cup, 3rd in the final carnival at Trapps, finished as the top junior in several races at Canadian Nationals, and skied to a strong 25th place today. Incredible job David!
Hans is battling a post-JOs cold and didn’t feel his best out there today, but focused on making strong movements on a day where glide was super important.
Dev paced his race like a champ and skied higher than his bib today. He’ll take tomorrow’s race off and then return for the sprint on Tuesday.
Our friend from the North, Antoine, has finished his biathlon season but donned the green and white threads to ski some races in the US. It’s always good to have Toine around!
David was the second junior today, the highlight in a group of great results for GMVS and its alums!
These guys do it right: we had nothing but fun out there today, with a double-decker podium and a good vibe all around. Spring Series is a great opportunity to get exposure to the elite physical levels of American ski racing, but also gives us great insight in the mentality that fosters success and enjoyment of the sport. We have some great role models to look up to, and it promises to be a great week rubbing shoulders with the stars!