FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Scott Wilson
January 25, 2004
NOR/AM SUPERTOUR CONCLUDES WITH GREAT RACING
CABLE, Wis. -- Ivan Babikov turned in his second dominant performance in two days in the Nor/Am SuperTour 15 km classic at Telemark Resort on Sunday, upsetting SuperTour leader David Chamberlain. Chamberlain lead a pack of eight skiers including Babikov who was sitting in third as they passed through the stadium after the first of three laps. Their first lap split time was just under 16 minutes.
At the conclusion of the second lap the lead pack had slimmed to four, with Chamberlain maintaining only a slight lead over Chris Cook, Babikov and Dan Roycroft. Adam Kats and Chad Giese followed in close pursuit only 10 seconds back.
The third and final lap saw Babikov take command. The margin of his lead as he entered the stadium left little doubt that it was again to be his day. Babikov, a Russian national currently based in Canmore, AB, turned in an impressive 45:43.53 time on a demanding 15 km course in cold conditions. "It was my kind of course," said Babikov, "up and down, up and down." A field of 157 men started the 15 km classic event. Air temperature at start time was 14F with a steady north wind of 5-10 mph.
David Chamberlain's second place finish further padded his Nor/Am SuperTour championship. Finishing at 46:09.38, Chamberlain said "I felt good today," rebounding from an off day on Saturday. As a result of his SuperTour championship, Chamberlain will move on to represent the United States on the World Cup circuit in Europe.
U.S. Development squad member, Chris Cook, scored a podium spot for his third consecutive event at the Telemark SuperTour. Cook's third-place time was 46:22.36. "It was a tough race. I had good skis but it was a battle all the way," said Cook.
Chad Giese of St. Paul, MN, skiing for the Subaru Factory Team, closed strong edging Dan Roycroft, Thunder Bay, ONT, by .87 second. Their fourth and fifth place times were 46:46.10 and 46:46.97 respectively. Giese commented, "Great course - it was a hectic start with a lot of guys and a narrow trail, but it spread out and we just kept pushing the pace and the group broke up a little bit. I skied strong and hung in there."
In the women's 10 km classic, Rebecca Dussault (Subaru Factory Team) added a resounding exclamation point to her outstanding Nor/Am SuperTour with back-to-back victories at Telemark. Dussault led the 100-woman field from start to finish. "I wanted to hang back the first lap and check out what the pace was - there was no need to win it by minutes or anything," said Dussault of her strategy for Sunday's event. "I hadn't even started breathing hard, but at about 4K I just decided to go. I thought it would be better in front once the course got to the more technical descents, so I wouldn't get tangled up with any of the others." Dussault cruised home in 36:24.1, 43 seconds ahead of second place finisher Melissa Oram. "Skiing that second lap was so much fun," she added. "I was just skiing alone in the middle of nowhere. I had time to think and even say hi to my family."
Oram from Park City, UT, led a tightly bunched chase pack of four skiers. After finishing at 37:07.9 she collapsed in the arms of Dussault gasping for over a minute until she regained her composure. Oram, with the U.S. Development Ski Team lost a contact lens during the race. She shared her strategy, "I led the chase pack the whole way and I figured I had to have the lead coming into the finish."
The margin was far less between third and fourth place finishers, with only one tenth of a second separating Madeleine Williams (Edmonton, AB), 37.09.7 and Johanna Turnunen, 39.09.8. Williams was fourth entering the stadium, but passed Turnunen at the finish to clinch her first SuperTour podium. She kept it close the whole way and commented, "There were lots of fun games being played out there."
Complete results of the day's racing can be found at: www.finishlinesports.com/html/results.asp. High resolution digital photographs of Sunday's competition are available at: www.competitiveimage.us/preview/NorAm/index.html.
The Nor/Am SuperTour is scheduled to return to Telemark Resort in 2005 and 2006 with more of the best cross country ski racing in North America.
Nor/Am SuperTour Classical
MEN - 15 kilometer
1. Ivan Babikov, Canmore, AB 45:43.53
WOMEN - 10 kilometer
1. Rebecca Dussault. Gunnison, CO 36:24.1