Pepa told us to blog and since I’m generally terrified of raising her ire, I figured it was a good idea to do what she said. Even from a thousand miles away, she still strikes fear into the hearts of men.
The SuperTours in Madison were a unique experience. I spent 8 years of my life skiing close to a city, but I’d never skied in a city (unless you count cruising around the Cambridge streets on rock skis before the plow came). I can understand why the concept of city sprinting is appealing – it introduces a ton of new people to our rather esoteric sport. But, I have to say that after two days of city sprinting, the concept is cooler than the reality. The unfortunate reality involves a lot of soft snow and asphalt.
On Saturday we raced a criterium format, which basically meant doing a distance race consisting of a ton of tiny laps. The men’s race was twelve laps and nine kilometers, while the women’s was eight laps for six kilometers. Hannah was 4th, Chels was 6th, Matt was 15th, I was 14th, and Tim should have scored his first SuperTour podium with a 2nd, but he was questionably disqualified for changing lanes and allegedly impeding a CXC skier in the finish. The finish was so messy that some of the tracks were worn down to pavement, so we figured the jury would cite force majeure and exonerate Big Tim, but it was not to be.
Sunday Tim took out whatever anger he might have been harboring for the previous day’s injustice by posting a blistering qualifier and moving on in the sprint. Continuing with the bizarre race formats, the organizers decided to only take 8 men and 8 women into the heats. This was fine for the girls, since they only had 6 women again, but for the field of 22 men, it was a bizarre choice. Matt and I were left on the outside looking in with our 14th and 17th place finishes respectively. In the finals Han and Chels repeated in 4th and 6th place, while Tim wound up 7th.
I think I speak for the whole team when I say that I’m glad I’m done with city sprinting for the year. Bring on the Birkie.