FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Scott Wilson
January 24, 2004
DUSSAULT CONTINUES SUPERTOUR DOMINANCE
CABLE, Wis. -- Predicted pre-race temperatures of -10F forced a delayed start to Saturday's Nor/Am SuperTour freestyle events at Telemark Resort. By race time, temperatures had edged toward +10F under sunny skies with little or no wind providing cold, but almost ideal racing conditions.
The cold weather did little to dampen the drive and resolve with which Rebecca Dussault has attacked the Nor/Am SuperTour series throughout the season as she notched yet another victory in Saturday's women's 5K freestyle. Dussault, skiing for the Subaru Factory Team, skated the challenging 5.5 km course in a blazing 16 minutes 39.7 seconds, 18 seconds ahead of second place finisher, Aubrey Smith.
Apparently not feeling her best earlier in the week, she showed no obvious ill effects after Saturday's effort. Dussault commented, "It was hard out there. I've never raced before after being sick." Dussault had taken the previous week off from the SuperTour, passing on the events in Itasca, Minn. after registering several top performances at the U.S. National Championships in Rumford, ME. Skiing from the shaded woods into the bright sunlight of stadium she briefly lost focus on the course and took one slightly staggered step, immediately recovering, however, before descending into the bowl at the base of the ski hill and making the final approach to the finish.
Aubrey Smith, U. S. Ski Team member from Park City, Utah started 15 seconds ahead of Dussault in the interval start event. Smith commented to Dussault following the finish, "Good job girl. I saw you go by, but I just couldn't get my skis to go." Dussault affirmed that the course, while in good condition, was slow due to the colder temperatures. Smith's finish time was 16:58.1.
Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK), also representing the U.S. Ski Team and winner of Wednesday's Sprint competition placed third, only five seconds behind Smith at 17:03.2.
Dussault had a virtual lock on the overall Nor/Am SuperTour championship coming into the week's events at Telemark with a 150-point over lead Wendy Wagner (U.S. Ski Team/Park City, UT). Second through fourth places in the Tour remained to be determined following Saturday's racing.
In the Men's 10 kilometer, Ivan Babikov, a Russian national currently living in Canada and training and skiing with members of the Canadian developmental team turned in a thoroughly dominant performance with a time of 27:38.2. Despite a SuperTour win Itasca, Minn. last weekend, Babikov, ranked seventh in the Nor/Am SuperTour standings, was somewhat of a dark horse going into the event. He left little doubt, however, that on Saturday he had the legs and the motor and was the class of the field over the demanding 10km course. The two-lap course was just under the International Ski Federation (FIS) maximum allowable total climb for a course of that distance.
Chris Cook's second place finish in 28:27.6, helped pad his second place Nor/Am standings placement. Cook, formerly from Rhinelander, Wis. is presently skiing for the U.S. Development Team in Park City, UT. Canadian Gordon Jewett, Canmore, AB, skied strongly rounding out the multi-national podium, finishing third at 28:38.3.
Men's SuperTour leader, winner of Wednesday's Sprints, and one of the favorites going into today's freestyle event, David Chamberlain, finished in seventh place, 1:42 off the pace. "I didn't have it today" said Chamberlain. "I was feeling ill and almost didn't start." Saturday's performance not withstanding, Chamberlain also has a lock on the overall SuperTour championship. Andrew Newall, who finished eleventh today and placed second in Wednesday's Sprints, commented on the course saying that it was a world class course, nicely groomed and as tough as any he's encountered.
In addition to the elite racers of the Nor/Am SuperTour, a total of 440 skiers from across the U.S. and Canada including a contingent from Austrailia participated in Saturday's events. Competition categories included collegiate and multiple Juniors classes, the event also serving as a Junior Olympics qualifier.
Complete results of the day's racing can be found at: www.finishlinesports.com/html/results.asp. High resolution digital photographs of Saturday's competition are available at: www.competitiveimage.us/preview/NorAm/index.html.
The Nor/Am SuperTour concludes on Sunday with mass start classical technique events of 10km for the women and 15km for the men. For more information about the Nor/Am SuperTour or Central Cross Country Skiing, visit www.cxcskiing.org.
Nor/Am SuperTour Freestyle
MEN - 10 kilometer
1. Ivan Babikov 27.38.2
WOMEN - 5 kilometer
1. Rececca Dussault 16.39.7