PARK CITY, UT (Sept. 23) - The U.S. Ski Team has named Italian company Maplus as an official supplier of roller skis. Maplus will provide roller skis and related components to the cross country and nordic combined teams, and will be a featured piece of equipment during the 2009 U.S. Nordic Combined Championships in Lake Placid, NY on Oct. 11, according to Nordic Director John Farra.
Maplus is already an official supplier of wax to the U.S. Ski Team and is excited to expand its supplier relationship with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association to include roller skis.
"The strong support of companies like Maplus is critical to the success of our athletes," Farra said.
"We are proud to expand our supplier partnership with the U.S. Ski Team on the nordic side to include roller skis as we continue to support and work together with U.S. athletes in pursuit of their Olympic dreams," said Rick Weissenborn, president of Maplus North American distributor Innovation Inc. "Maplus, together with the U.S. Ski Team, will strive to improve and continue the tradition of producing top results at the highest levels of competition."
Maplus is now proud to offer a complete line of high quality Italian-made roller skis to the U.S. market. U.S. Ski Team athletes train year-round and compete each winter on a global World Cup circuit, in addition to the Olympic Winter Games every four years.
The U.S. Ski Team will use Maplus roller skis for its U.S. Cross Country and Nordic Combined Ski Teams. In fact, the skis will be showcased this October when the U.S. Nordic Combined Championships go off-snow with a jumping and roller skiing championship in Lake Placid, NY.
One of the challenges facing organizers when putting together a U.S. Championships with no snow is finding a fair way to display the skier's fitness. "All roller ski brands have their own inherent speed; some slow, some fast, etc, so we felt it was critical for all the athletes to be on the same equipment so there could be no question who the fastest skier was on that day", Farra said.
Many other countries are holding summer or fall ski jumping and nordic combined national championships due to the full World Cup and Continental Cup schedules for jumping and nordic combined that make it nearly impossible to schedule a nationals without missing a nations top athletes. This was the challenge facing the USSA this spring and it is enthusiastic to try this new format, which will act as a kick-off to the 2009 winter season.
Maplus will be providing 50 pairs of matched roller skis to our nation's top participants for the 10K event, and they will have a race service tent on the venue to manage the fleet of skis. In addition, they have chosen to make these slightly used roller skis for sale to athletes, clubs and coaches for a reduced cost.
In Europe, the standard solution has been to have the athletes use in-line skates for non-snow nordic combined events. "The use of inline skates was not a decision we were willing to make since the speed is too high and it does not mimic the cross country skiing motion like a free heel binding provides to a roller ski. Thanks to our partnership with Maplus, I believe we have provided other countries and the International Ski Federation (FIS) a model for how you can hold a fair and appropriate nordic combined competition off snow."
Maplus is best known in Italy for superior nordic and alpine racing wax and is quickly gaining recognition in the United States as a leading producer of competition wax products.
Maplus started producing ski wax in 1997 with the exclusive support of the Chemical Industrial Institute of Padua University and Professor Gian Paolo Gambaretto, one of the world's authoritative experts on fluorine chemistry.
The company's groundbreaking scientific research activity over the past 10 years has produced a range of race-proven spray, liquid, solid and powder wax with high melt points, superior durability and glide.
Maplus joins a supplier team of more than 50 companies providing valuable support to U.S. Ski Team athletes.