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Flora Sweeps SuperTour Titles, Freeman Sets Mark

Thu, Apr  19, 2007 - By US Ski Team

PARK CITY, Utah (April 18) - Olympian Lars Flora (Anchorage, AK) swept all three individual men's titles - overall, distance and sprint champion(s) - in 2007's $130,000 Cross Country SuperTour while Kris Freeman (Andover, NH) won eight races to set a record for most SuperTour wins in his career (23).

Team CXC teammates Caitlin Compton (Minneapolis) and Laura Valaas (Wenatchee, WA) dominated the women's side of the 24-race season. Compton won the overall and distance championships while Valaas won the sprint title, with nine victories. The overall champions receive start rights during the first period of the 2008 World Cup schedule.

U.S. Nordic Director Luke Bodensteiner said, "We are really proud of the 12 sites that came together again this winter to organize the SuperTour and put their individual stamp on its identity. What they provide in terms of promotion and sport development is high impact - this year's SuperTour has been the largest yet, with the most sites, spectators, participants, media coverage and prize money. The organizers have developed an exemplary circuit and they are driving cross country forward in the U.S."

The SuperTour schedule includes all U.S. championship races.

In addition, many of the SuperTour distance races form the FIS North American Marathon Cup series. Zack Simons (Salt Lake City), who trains with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, and Kristina Strandberg of Sweden, a former University of New Mexico racer, won their respective titles.

The North American marathon schedule includes the 50K (reduced to 45K because of conditions) classic technique Noquemanon Marathon in Marquette, MI, as well the 30K freestyle City of Lakes Loppet in Minneapolis; the 30K FR Owl Creek Chase in Aspen, CO; the 52K FR (shortened to 25K because of conditions) American Birkebeiner between Cable and Seeley, WI; and the U.S. championship pursuits (men's 30K and women's 15K) plus the long-distance races (men's 50K CL and women's 30K CL) in Presque Isle, ME.

A recap of the 2007 SuperTour leaders:

MEN

Overall (24 races)

1. Lars Flora, Anchorage, AK - 533 points (8 wins)
2. Kris Freeman, Andover, NH - 426 (8 wins)
3. Garrott Kuzzy, Hayward, WI - 352

Distance (14 races)

1. Flora - 341 (5 wins)
2. Freeman - 330 (8 wins)
3. Kuzzy - 254

Sprint (10 races)

1. Flora - 192 (3 wins)
2. Eric Strabel, Anchorage, AK - 187 (2 wins)
3. Anders Haugen, Anchorage, AK - 162

WOMEN

Overall (24 races)

1. Caitlin Compton, Minneapolis - 541 points (4 wins)
2. Laura Valaas, Wenatchee, WA - 491 (9 wins)
3. Kate Whitcomb, Ketchum, ID - 359 (2 wins)

Distance (14 races)

1. Compton - 314 (4 wins)
2. Kristina Strandberg, Sweden - 238 (2 wins)
3. Taz Mannix, Anchorage, AK - 225 (1 win)

Sprint (10 races)

1. Valaas - 350 (9 wins)
2. Compton - 227
3. Karin Camenisch, Switzerland - 197