A quiet weekend to report on in the skimo race world with the Pitturina World Cup being postponed due to too much snow! I feel terrible for these guys forced to ski pow and not be able to race.
Our friends in Montana were the only ones in North America to get out for a race. The annual Bridger Bowl Skin-to-Win Randonnee Rally was held on Feb 2nd (also postponed by a day due to weather). Ben Parsons was hungry for a win after the previous week and skied alone in front the entire race. Brian Story placed second, after whittling away at a group of five to eventually build a comfortable gap over third. A small field meant lots of prizes distributed throughout the group!
The skin tracks back up the ridge were unrelenting in their steepness as they always are. But, realizing we were all in the same boat and it was better than breaking trail, I just adjusted speed and stride and enjoyed the rare occurrence of leading a race with a slightly comfortable cushion.
» Ben Parsons Race Report
» Brian Story Race Report
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9spsWNG-qE (only the beginning of the video covers the race)
Without any other race videos to watch this week, check out this one which is a little more appropriate for the conditions we have had on the Coast. And two minutes in watch very applicable technique for skimo racing on hard snow 😉
UPCOMING RACES – February 8-9 weekendThe Pitturina World Cup race was postponed to February 7th and 8th. The race will begin with a sprint race on Friday followed by the full individual race on Saturday. North America will be represented by Melanie Bernier (CAN). She managed to postpone a flight back to North America (good for all you guys worried about getting chicked at Lake Louise!) and will be road tripping to Italy with USA’s Meredith Edwards. Melanie had this to say about this weekend’s racing:
I am really looking forward to the sprint to start with as I love how fast the event is plus I am well prepared…. I think… As for the individual course, if they did not have to change it because of all the snow they received, it should be a fairly flat but long course. Really nice and dramatic landscape of the dolomite mountains around. We ski down to Austria and back up to Italy which should be pretty fun!-Melanie Bernier
In the Men’s race, it will be interesting to see if Killian Jornet (ESP) can come back on form from last weekend’s illness but there will likely be heated competition from the strong French and Italian teams. On the Women’s side, it is likely that Laetitia Roux will continue her dominance but Melanie had this to say:
Laetitia is in great shape this year and have been showing how prepared she is at all events I had to race in. She is really impressive and an inspiration to us all. Maude Mathis (SUI) is chasing her all the time but Laetitia seems to consistently and comfortably distance the crowd.
Canadian Cup racing action returns to Lake Louise, AB on February 8th at the Ken Jones Classic. One of Canada’s popular events, the Ken Jones Classic will be expected to have a highly competitive field due to its central location. A large contingent from the Coast will be making the trip with good representation from the Rockies’ racers expected and the possibility of some Montana racers making the trip up as well.
The new course is going to be mega – with lots of steep, technical work on
the backside of Whitehorn for the Elite Racers. The low snow situation at LL
is actually opening up some cool new possibilities at the same time as it is
closing off parts of last year’s route. Recreational ‘Enduro’ course will be
only slightly different from previous editions. Really good thoughts and
suggestions from Craig Sheppard of Lake Louise Snow Safety on this one.
– Dave Dornian SMCC
Also on February 8th, a new race, will start off for a double-header skimo weekend in New Mexico! The Saturday’s Santa Fe Fireball promises 4,200 ft of climbing over 5 ascents and 4 descents. The ascent includes an interesting looking boot pack through a cliff band with a fixed rope. Then on Sunday, February 9th, the racers will tackle 5000 ft or so at the Taos Rio Hondo Rando Raid.
And finally, on February 9th, our East Coast friends will be racing at Burke Mountain on what Jonathan Shefftz describes as a short course with a really solid layout. No other details at the moment but keep an eye on the NE Rando Series Facebook page for more info.