A hardcore group of 800 skiers made their way to the start line for the 2007 City of Lakes Loppet. Blue sky and sunshine reflected upon a well prepared course, but frigid temperatures also made it to the party. 12, 3, 21, 36, and 3 were all numbers mentioned throughout the weekend. There was no need to specify if it was above or below zero, as temperatures never climbed above zero for the weekend.
Saturday’s SuperTour sprints were postponed twice before the event was called off in compliance with FIS regulations that temperatures must be -4 Fahrenheit or above. Morning winds were gusting to 20 mph. The Midwest Junior Olympic Qualifiers freestyle sprints were postponed a third time in hopes that temperatures would rise for a short window. The race was held during the heat of the day (-3F) with a qualifying round and the top 6 in each category advancing for a single A final. Waylon Manske (Bemidji, MN) and Heather Bassett (Minocqua, WI) won the OJ heats, with John Grossi (Hayward, WI) and Jackie Pribyl (Sillwater, MN) taking the J1 titles. Ryan Wright (Wyoming, MN) and Hannah Sanborn (Maple Grove, MN) won the J2 A Finals.
Saturday evening’s Toko/Finn Sisu freestyle sprints held in Uptown saw some elite level action. Pride and prize money was on the line, but no FIS/SuperTour points. Eric Strabel (APU) won the men’s elite division ahead of Kevin Hochtl (Rossignol/Axels) and high school skier Doug Debold (Hopkins). Karin Camenisch (Rossignol) won the women’s elite sprints ahead of Hilary Patzer (St. Paul, MN) and Maria Stewart (SkinnySki.com). Bjorn Batdorf (Minneapolis, MN) won the Citizen Men Final. Gordon Vermeer and Hannah Callahan won the High School Finals.
At the start of Sunday’s race the temperature rose to -9 Fahrenheit by race start, which meant that it would not be a Super Tour event. FIS has looser constraints for what they classify as “Popular” races, allowing for a race to be held in temperatures as low as -13 Fahrenheit and the race started as scheduled. After the first 5 kilometers in the 30km Freestyle the lead pack of 11 had broken away from the field. The group skied together the entire race, mostly led by Justin Easter (Subaru Factory). The pack sprinted for the line, with Canadian Adam Kates edging Chad Giese (Subaru Factory) for the win. Adam Swank (FSx) was third ahead of Justin Easter. Karin Camenisch (Rossignol) won the women’s race over one minute ahead of Mary Beth Tuttle (Finn Sisu) and Kim Rudd (Rossignol). In the Hoigaards 25km Classical race Bjorn Batdorf won ahead Ben Mogren (xcOregon). In the women’s classical race, Josie Nelson and Margie Nelson tied for first.
The City of Lakes Loppet concludes the CXC Central Grand Prix SuperTour races. Caitlin Compton and Bryan Cook won the Overall Grand Prix titles by accruing the most points and racing in every race in the series. The City of Lakes Loppet races were not included in the Grand Prix due to the cold weather. The series included the SuperTour races in Madison, Mt. Itasca, and Telemark. The SuperTour continues next weekend with the Owl Creek Chase in Aspen, CO.
Men’s 30km Freestyle Top 11 Lead Pack Results
Adam Kates (Thunder Bay) 1:14:07
Chad Giese (Subaru Factory) 1:14:08
Adam Swank (FSx) 1:14:08
Justin Easter (Subaru Factory) 1:14:11
Nikolai Anikin (Atomic/Ski Hut)1:14:11
Stephen Hart (Team Hardwood)1:14:11
Matt Liebsch (CXC) 1:14:14
Owen Hanley (Rossignol) 1:14:14
Murray Carter (Canada)1:14:17
Thomas Keefe (MSWC) 1:14:20
Ian Case (Sponsor Me) 1:14:30
Women’s 30km Freestyle Results
Karin Camenisch (Rossignol) 1:28:51
Mary Beth Tuttle (Finn Sisu) 1:30:15
Kim Rudd (Rossignol) 1:31:05
Jana Rehmaa (Subaru Factory) 1:31:44
Jan Guenther (Gear West) 1:33:42
For full race results check out http://www.onlineraceresults.com/event/view_event.php?event_id=1461.