GeneralNewsRacingWorld CupToblach World Cup Notes: Too Much Snow

Brainspiral BrainspiralJanuary 31, 20142
Toblach's snow carver takes as break while sitting in the leader's chair at the Toblach World Cup in Italy. (Photo: Gerry Furseth)
Toblach’s snow carver takes as break while sitting in the leader’s chair at the Toblach World Cup in Italy. (Photo: Gerry Furseth)

TOBLACH, Italy — With the World Cup circuit resuming on Saturday (after a weekend off two weeks out from the Olympics), Toblach organizers have a bit of a problem on their hands: too much snow.

According to FasterSkier’s on-site reporter Gerry Furseth, there was no official training on Friday “as the heavy snow made for unusual skiing conditions.”

Unofficial training: heavy snowfall continues in Toblach a day before the last World Cup before the Olympics takes place there.
Unofficial training: heavy snowfall continues in Toblach, Italy, a day before the last World Cup before the Olympics takes place there. (Photo: Gerry Furseth)

Most of the 5-kilometer loop, which will be used for Saturday’s 10 and 15 k classic individual starts, was covered with about 15 centimetres (6 inches) of new snow as of 9 a.m. on Friday.

“By 11:00, it was challenging skiing in wet, falling snow,” according to Furseth. “The snowcats were busing removing snow from the stadium to keep it as built.  The road to Cortina was closed most of the day and the ski trail to Cortina was 30 cm deep.

‘The ‘Saskia’ 5k loop is brutal,” added Furseth, who’s from Vancouver, B.C. “Skiing the loop after it was freshly reset, I spent 2/3rds of my time striding. None of the climbs are as long as Canmore, but they are ramps (constant slope, very straight). The downhills are pretty easy if the track is in good shape and your legs are loaded with lactic. Except for the stadium, the double-poling sections are false flats, not much fun in snow-filled tracks.  Like Val di Fiemme, the philosophy seems to be to get the descending done quickly, so the steep climing can resume.”

One of the hills on Toblach's 5 k course during a rebuild process because of abundant snow. (Photo: Gerry Furseth)
One of the hills on Toblach’s 5 k course during a rebuild process because of abundant snow. (Photo: Gerry Furseth)

Furseth was in Val di Fiemme, Italy, for the first day of Junior/U23 World Championships on Wednesday.

“Unlike Val di Fiemme, the snow feels pure, natural, and skis much drier than it looks,” he explained. “Val di Fiemme was at least 80% manmade, and skied wet and fast, with that squirrely feel skating that resulted in lots of crashes on sprint day. At Toblach, all the crash ‘sitzmarks’ were right after snow drifts, where the boots drag in the deep snow.”

As for Saturday’s classic races, Switzerland’s Dario Cologna is on the World Cup start list for the first time this season following an ankle injury in late fall. He has three World Cup wins in his career (including stages) in 15 k classic races.

If you’re following North Americans, here’s who’s on the start list for Saturday. Racing will continue Sunday with freestyle sprints.

Women’s 10 k classic individual start
(Bib #/Name)
3. Caitlin Gregg (USA)
12. Holly Brooks (USA)
21. Sadie Bjornsen (USA)
27. Kikkan Randall (USA)
32. Liz Stephen (USA)
48. Emily Nishikawa (CAN)
51. Ida Sargent (USA)
Men’s 15 k classic individual start
 
1. Kris Freeman (USA)
15. Noah Hoffman (USA)
32. Devon Kershaw (CAN)
34. Ivan Babikov (CAN)
46. Alex Harvey (CAN)
51. Graeme Killick (CAN)
52. Brian Gregg (USA)
57. Erik Bjornsen (USA)
58. Jesse Cockney (CAN)

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2 comments

  • Avatar
    shreddir

    January 31, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    The womens field seems to be smaller than usual but except for the UK skiers there are hardly any development level racers- almost everybody else is top notch. Too bad the early girls have to break and ski in the soft tracks for the seeded stars. Hope the coaches take that into account.

  • Avatar
    akskr

    January 31, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    @shreddir

    Not sure what “hope the coaches take that into account” refers to. The coaches have no say on seeding in a world cup race. From my 2 second look at the start lists the lowest FIS-point non-red group skiers are reverse seeded for the first 20 or 25 spots. Next are red group skiers, reverse seeded. Finally the higher FIS point skiers are tacked on after the red group.

    Also I’m pretty sure they realize that Caitlin will have different conditions for her first lap then Ida will on her second. They do do this whole waxing thing professionally and from watching on blurry streams online, they’re pretty good at it too.

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