Contact: Piotr Bednarski
Minnesota Biathlon
January 17, 2004

Babikov and Weier Stride to Victory in Classic Mass Start


Mt. Itasca; Coleraine, MN -- Perfect skiing conditions and some big climbs greeted the 350 competitors at today's Super Tour event at Mt Itasca in Coleraine. Ivan Babikov and Lindsay Weier took the overall victories in the Mass Start Classical races. Babikov, a Russian national now living in Canmore, Alberta, tailed Noram points leader David Chamberlain for the first 5km, then slowly built a lead over the last lap to win the 15km classical event by 25 seconds. Chris Cook of Rhinelander, WI and Chad Giese of St. Paul, MN battle it out to a photo finish for 3rd place- Cook just edging out Giese. The Men's "A" mass start had over 100 competitors in it, and made for a spectacular start.

In the Women's 10km, race favorite Sigrid Aas (University of Alaska, Fairbanks and a Norweigan native) was under pressure the entire race by Canadian National Team member Madeleine Williams of Edmonton, Alberta, and Northern Michigan University stars, Lindsay Williams and Lindsay Weier. Weier tried to break away early in the race, but was reeled in by Aas. The lead pack held together until the last 300 meters of the race, when Weier put the hammer down on a short climb and came out with a clear victory over Madeleine Williams in second and Sigrid Aas in third. Weier is a native of Mahtomedi, MN and at 18, was the youngest members of the U.S. 2002 Olympic Team. She will represent the United States at the World Junior Championships in Stryn, Norway in February.

The action will continue tomorrow at 9:30am at Mt. Itasca with a 10km Skate event for men and 5km Skate for women. Full results for the Junior and College races at Mt Itasca can be found at