Mar 15-28 Skimo Racing News Shorts: World Cup, Grand Traverse, Canadian Nationals

Canadian Rockies showing all their beauty during the Canadian Nationals. Photo by Osmosis Photography.

Canadian Rockies showing all their beauty during the Canadian Nationals. Photo by Osmosis Photography.

The past two weeks were full of skimo racing in North America and Europe! Here is our recap of what happened in the skin tracks.

» For previous weekend’s racing news see here.

USA West

Elk Mountain Grand Traverse – March 26, 2016

To a mix of both disappointment and relief, the race organizers made a last-minute decision to modify the 2016 Grand Traverse into an out and back course from Crested Butte rather than continuing to Aspen. A risk of skiing in high country during early spring, as large storm had deposited significant amounts of snow, was causing major concerns for the organizers and athletes.

As expected, John Gaston and Max Taam continued their team winning streak and comfortably won ahead of Rob Krar and Marshall Thompson who crossed the line 10min behind. One of the most impressive performances was of Ben and Nils Koons, who took third using Nordic ski gear!

Another noteworthy performance came from Lindsay Plant and Jessie Young who won the women’s event and finished 7th overall, however, only 3 min behind was another ladies duo of Larochelle – Hagen at 8th overall!

» Full results are HERE

Want to see more coverage of women’s racing? We need a female correspondent! Send us an email if you’d like to contribute!

8e9db461-0ecd-40e8-b569-c009c6ba4284Upcoming:

Next up on the COSMIC schedule is Cody’s Challenge in Steamboat Springs, CO on April 2nd.

Also make sure to save the date on April 9th for the Big Sky Shedhorn Skimo race. This promises to be an exciting one, with crampons, ice axe and whippet on the mandatory gear list! Check out their Facebook Page for more info and updates as well as registration.

USA East

Bolton 24 Hour, Sugarbush, Pico

Whoops, all three of these Vermont venues were cancelled in their inaugural season in this “historical” New England ski season. The Bolton Valley 24 race lost all the backcountry snow required for its daytime ascent route. Sugarbush still claimed an impressive trail count but unfortunately continued its prior attitude toward skimo from when it co-hosted a race with neighbor Mad River Glen. Pico would have been closed for two weeks by the time of the scheduled race date yet retained plenty of snow cover: the outside organizer was still 100% all set to go, but resort management wouldn’t allow the race to be held. :(

Bromley VT – March 19, 2016

All three cancellations further north left Bromley in southern Vermont as the last traditional race of the season on March 19. The upper mountain had been closed during the week but reopened for one final weekend after a major snow moving effort by the resort groomers on Friday. Jerimy Arnold took the win despite a hundred-foot slide on one descent past about half as many visiting ski patrollers for a training event. Brian MacIlvain finished only several seconds behind, slowed down somewhat by responsibly checking that Jerimy was somehow still okay. Alex Nichols eventually broke free from what was initially a tight pack of six racers to claim his first skimo podium.

» Results and Photos HERE

Bolton Citizen Skimo Series & Stowe Topsy Turvy Derby

As mentioned in previous news round-ups, this season the Catamount Trail Association (“CTA”) debuted a weeknight citizen series of hour-long crit-style races at Bolton Valley, VT. Attendance was strong for most of the season with participation averaging around 40 racers per night, peaking at over 80. Each week of “winter” brought new challenges in piecing together sections of skinable and skiable terrain into a race course layout that resort management would approve. Not once did participants compete on the courses originally planned by organizers at the onset of the series! But the CTA and Bolton always came up with something, and the really fun – albeit short – courses provided a lot of transition practice.

Then on March 26, the CTA closed out the Eastern U.S. skimo season with the evening Topsy Turvy Derby, the first time any skimo event has ever been held at Stowe, VT. Conditions were challenging on the 700’ vertical criterium-style course with icy moguls and refrozen corn. QT2 Systems triathlon coach John Spinney won with five laps commenced within the 55-minute cut-off.

2017 Preview:

Perhaps eager to forget the 2015-16 “winter” even as it still sputters to a close, several race directors have already started hashing out a schedule for the 2016-17 season. The Catamount Trail Association will continue the Bolton weeknight criterium-style races, and also hopes to offer several Saturday night races at both Sugarbush and Stowe. Discussions are already underway with potentially promising venues in both VT and NH. Check back at the link above (clicking through to future months in the Google calendar) for updates on other races as we move closer to the 2016-17 season and as the forgettable 2015-16 season is hopefully forgotten.

Submitted by Eastern correspondents Jonathan Shefftz (NE Rando Race Series) and Greg Maino (Catamount Trail Association)

Canada

Ken Jones Classic and Canadian Skimo National Championships – March 19, 2016:

Held at Lake Louise Ski Area, this year’s edition of KJC was one of the most competitive Canadian skimo events in recent history!

Organizers prepared a great race course with the race starting up a groomer climb to the top of the ski area before descending to the back wilder side. There awaited one beautiful switchbacks climb and one long and steep boot-pack climb, both followed by steeper couloir descents. From here, racers sped down a groomer for the final long climb and a big descent to the resort base with a long skating second section.

After an initial sprint off the line by Peter Knight, Nick Elson took the lead and set a strong pace up the 1st climb with Eric Carter in tow while Rob Krar, the ultra-runner, was chasing close behind. Nick and Eric skied together most of the race until a bottom section on the final climb where Eric pulled away for the win. Rob Krar took third with Ben Parsons chasing hard but missing out on the podium at the very end.

On the women’s side, Kylee Toth-Ohler easily skied away from the field, winning handily with Michelle Katchur-Roberts in second and Katarina Kuba in third.

Nick Elson and Kylee Toth-Ohler were named National Champions and Canadian-only podiums were presented in addition to overall race podiums. This wraps up the Canadian race calendar for 2016!

» Full results are HERE

Thanks to OsmosisPhotography.com for great images from the race:

Europe

Mondole Ski Alp World Cup – March 18-20, 2016:

At risk of sounding like a broken record, Kilian Jornet again dominated the World Cup Vertical and Individual races at the Prato Nevoso ski area in Italy. Laetitia Roux was the first to cross the line in both races as well but was given a 15min penalty in the individual race due to skis that did not meet the ISMF weight requirement so the victory was awarded to Swiss Jennifer Fiechter. In the sprint race, Robert Antonioli and Roux won, clinching their season sprint titles.

USA had one athlete competing in Mondole – Rory Kelly from Colorado raced to 27th in the vertical race, 28th in the individual, and 35th in the sprint.

» All results can be found here

All photos by ISMF:

Upcoming:

All that remains are Long Distance World Cup races. The next to come is the bi-annual Tour du Rutor in Italy at the beginning of April followed by the Patrouille De Glaciers on April 22-23rd.

ISMF Racing News

Check out our big 2015/16 skimo calendar for upcoming events this week and into the future.

12-Week Training Plan for Skimo Racing

Skimo Racing Manual

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