With snow falling in Alaska, SuperTour set for its debut

With snow falling in Alaska, SuperTour set for its debut{mosimage}USSA — The inaugural USSA cross-country SuperTour opens this weekend at Kincaid Park in Anchorage. Recent snows have improved track conditions.

“I just spoke with Matt Pauli [of the Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage, race organizers] and he says the conditions are improving rapidly with a storm dropping snow in Anchorage, which should make for good race conditions at Kincaid Park. This will be a good start for the winter,” U.S. nordic firector Luke Bodensteiner said on Nov. 12. “I know everyone’s eager to race.”

Poor snow in Fairbanks last weekend forced cancellation of what were to have been the first two races, but conditions in Anchorage “are coming along nicely,” Bodensteiner said. Organizers were prepared to shift the races to Hatcher Pass if Kincaid wasn’t ready. Classic races — a men’s 10km and women’s 5km — are scheduled for Saturday with freestyle races on Sunday — again, men’s 10km and women’s 5km.

Olympians Kikkan Randall of Anchorage, a student at Alaska Pacific University, and Aelin Peterson of Fairbanks, plus one of their teammates from the 2003 World Championships, Dave Chamberlain, are expected to lead the field for the first races.

“Aelin and Dave have said their goal this season is to win the SuperTour overall title,” Bodensteiner said, “so we know they’ll be raising the level for everyone. It’s good to get the racing started.”

The next SuperTour races are scheduled the weekend after Thanksgiving, November 28 and 29, in West Yellowstone, Montana.

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