Rain, lack of snow bring cancellation of SuperTour races

Rain, lack of snow bring cancellation of SuperTour races{mosimage}USSA — The lack of snow and a forecast calling for continued rain forced U.S. Ski Team officials and local organizers Tuesday to cancel the first round of SuperTour cross-country ski races in Fairbanks, Alaska, according to U.S. nordic director Luke Bodensteiner.

“There wasn’t anything anyone could do about this,” Bodensteiner said. “John Estle and the organizing committee have done everything at Birch Hill, but the weather wouldn’t cooperate. Even our usual back-up sites, which have been so reliable in Fairbanks or down the road in Salcha, where it’s almost always cold, didn’t get any snow.

“And, of course, snow was late getting to Fairbanks last month, and then there wasn’t much … and now the rain and prospect of continued rain takes it out of anyone’s hands. I spoke with John again today and it’s too bad but we have to cancel the races despite everything he and his crew have done.” Races had been set for Nov. 8-9 in Fairbanks.

Bodensteiner said a decision would be made in the near future about the second round of SuperTour races, scheduled for Nov. 15-16 in Anchorage.

Head coach Trond Nystad, who delayed the ski team’s arrival in Fairbanks by five days because of the unseasonably warm conditions, was flying back from Alaska to Park City, Utah, which has received two feet of snow in the last week. The Canadian national team and the Quebec provincial team also left Alaska, he said.

“We were able to get some good training. It was god for a week,” Nystad said, “but then there was a steady downpour [Monday] and it’s a shame but that’s how it goes sometimes.”

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