Last weekend was very busy for racing in Colorado while Canada took a break. In Europe, 18th edition of Mountain Attack in Austria served its traditional 3000m around Saalbach. Our previous skimo news can be found here.
We attend some of the Colorado races and went through the multi-day marathon outdoor gear show in Salt Lake City – we will be writting about the new gear starting this weekend! Overall, we drove over 5000km in 9 days and ate way too much “gas station food” 😉
USA Race News
The Heathen Challenge – USA Team Qualifier – Jan 14-15
The first qualification race from a month ago was still very alive in some athletes minds as they failed to secure their spots for their desired disciplines on the USA Team that will represent at the upcoming World Championships. Tom Goth and Max Taam were the two big names that had something to prove at Sunlight mountain last weekend.
Saturday’s night Sprint Race:
After a smart qualification and semi-final rounds, Max Taam was leaving the very top transition in the sprint finals about 6-7 seconds behind Eric Carter, who looked in control. While Eric was trying to avoid any crashes Max went full gas, passed him 2 gates from the finish line and won. Third and fourth went to Rory Kelly and Scott Archer respectively, who also secured their spots for the sprint race at Worlds (top 4 qualified).
In the women’s race, Jessie Young went mostly unchallenged and won while the battle behind her was more competitive. In the finals, Najeeby Quinn took close second in front of Nikki Larochelle. Fourth and final spot on the sprint team went to Michela Adrian.
Of note, were the men’s and women’s junior and youth racers. All were racing strong and were pulling off smooth transitions every time they came by me – I was a referee at the very top sprint transition. Quinn Simmons won the finals and can be a medal hopeful in Europe!
» Sprint race results – scroll through photo results on Facebook
Sunday’s Individual Race:
Sunday’s race was a qualifier for the fourth and final spot on the individual team, and was also a qualifier for the teams race spots – top 8 would secure those.
Tom Goth showed tremendous desire to secure the final spot on the individual race team after coming short a month ago. He took it out from the line and followed John Gaston (who already qualified) as long as he could to finish second in the race. John won once again and continues to dominate the North American skimo racing scene in big style. Third went to Max Taam who was trying hard to catch Goth but failed by about one minute.
In the women’s race, Jessie Young repeated her great performance from the day before and went on to win over Janelle Smiley. Nikki Larochelle raced well too to round out the podium in front of Lindsay Plant. Just like in the men’s race, the top 8 secured their teams race spots but we are yet to see which women will choose to travel to Europe at the end.
Junior boy’s podium went to Quinn Simmons, Henry Boyd, Henry Hanes. The girls race was won by Morgan Fortin.
» Individual race results
The Grand Mesa Grind at Powderhorn – Jan 14
Athletes that weren’t much interested in the sprint at Sunlight went to race an individual race at Powderhorn.
The podiums went to Jon Brown, Ram Mikulas (new USSMA president) and Matthias Messner in men’s category. Women’s went to Janelle Smiley and Amber Leach.
» Grand Mesa results
International Race News
18th edition of Mountain Attack in Austria delivered some very fast times over its massive 3000m course (10,000 ft). Although the race route is entirely in a ski resort athletes complete the course during evening/night hours with headlamps.
The talented Anton Palzer (GER) went on to win in 2h 21min! He was followed home by Christian Hoffmann (AUT) and Tadei Pivk (ITA). Jennifer Fiechter (SWI) won the women’s marathon course in 3h 3min in front of Italian Team members Katia Tomatis and Martina Valmassoi.
» Results for 2017 Mountain Attack
After sharing a long drive back to Canada from Colorado, I wished “Good Luck” to Eric Carter who jumped on the plane to Europe to race in Andorra WC (Jan 21-22) and Cambre d’Aze WC in France (Jan 28).
USA and Canada:
Check out our full calendar but the highlight events for next 2 weeks are here:
Jan 20-23 – Griggs Skimo Camp, CO
Jan 21 – Fernie Skimo Race, BC
Jan 21 – Berkshire East, MA
Jan 21 – La course du Festival, QC
Jan 28 – CROWBAR SkiMo race, UT
Jan 29 – Skin to Win Race At Bridger Bowl, MT
Feb 3-5 – US Nationals, NM
Feb 4-5 – Panorama Steep Dreams Skimo Race, BC