Sunday, January 27, 2013

Tour de Twin Cities

20km Classic Mass Start. Photo: Joel Woodward
What a treat to have 5 Super Tour races in our back yard at Theodore Wirth Park here in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  We are super lucky to have the opportunity to live and race at home for a month in the middle of the race season.  Caitlin sure was smart when she found us a house with snow making nearby. Sadly it is not a question of if, but a question of when the Midwest will have a bad snow year.  Although grass was showing in the yard, the 3.3km man made snow loop at wirth is perfect.

Only 1km to go in Stage 2: 20km Mass Start Classic. Photo:Joel Woodward

Racing at sea level and on a small loop led to a competitive and exciting week.  The week started off great for me with my first Super Tour podium of the year.  ITA teammate Torin Koos took the win in the mass start classic race and I finished second.  Most of the field stayed together until the final kilometer of the race.  It was a tough day on equipment with several broken poles and skis.  Thankfully and luckily I stayed out of trouble.  I have really struggled in my classic races this year with a 24th, 26th, and a 23rd, so to be back on the podium was sweet.
Chasing down Dylan McGuffin in Stage 4. Photo: Steve Kotvis

I have never had a race series with so many great photographers out on course.  Skiing laps allowed for some really cool photos and video.  Looking at the photos and video is a great way to learn from the races.

Stage 4 Classic Photo: Steve Kotvis

Of all the races in the Tour, I have been looking forward to Stage 5 the most.  15km Freestyle with a pursuit start based on your overall tour time. I started the day in 6th and 1:36 off of Torin's tour lead, but went in with the goal of posting the fastest time of the day.  I figured based on my start position I would ski most of the race by my self. My skis were superb today though and I found myself catching up to 4th and 5th in the Tour.  I skied hard all the way to the end and finished the overall Tour in 4th.  I also met my goal of skiing the fastest time of the day and earning a large mint Oreo and cookie dough blizzard.

Charging hard.  Photo: David Owen

I decided to run for my cool down while watching and cheering the women's race.  I am glad I had my Salomon Spike Cross shoes with spikes for running on the ice.  Caitlin put on quite a show today and   had my adreneline pumping as I ran around the course to cheer her on.  She started the day 1:05 back from the lead and 50 seconds behind second place.  She skied great posting the fastest time of the day and moving up into second for the overall Tour.  

Trying to look like Caitlin
It has been a goal of mine for a long time to share the top step of the podium with Caitlin in a Super Tour.  To make a sweet day even sweeter it is finally snowing.  We went for a recovery run tonight and ran into the groomer prepping the trail behind the house.  Looking forward to a nice easy ski from the back door tomorrow.