In order to facilitate the full schedule of races, the Sovereign Lake organizers put together a night race to get us access to the venue. Despite threateningly low temperatures, the race went off without a hitch and the Fast Trax Pro Team enjoyed some wicked success.
The afternoon started with me testing Madeleine's skis and Lorris working on glide wax combinations. As a result of all of Zach's work on Mado's skis we have a lot to learn about which pairs run well in a particular set of conditions. I tested four pairs of skis with two pairs standing out in particular. The snow was new and cold and as per usual 346 (with an XC02 grind) was fast and kicking well. Another pair of skis, 467 (with a ZR1XL grind) was also fast and felt solid for kick.
While this was underway Lorris developed some stellar grip and glide combinations. For glide we ran Ski*Go HF blue +S30 and from grip we ran an extra blue binder, a Magnar 2 cushion, a couple of layers of Magnar 1 (it was kicking well), and a full layer of Guru green for speed. Everything was kicking well and being a classic race it was all about speed. In short, Madeleine's skis were awesome.
Things were looking good for the race. Madeleine had the number one seed and was starting at the end of the open women's field. The goal for the race was the same as the skate distance race... ski controlled, relaxed, and kill the final lap.
The race consisted of three 3.3km laps and the splits unfolded like this:
2. Brittney Webster (+2 sec)
3. Kristina Strandberg (+3 sec)
4. Nicole De Young (+3 sec)
5. Mado (+4 sec)
At this point it was very early in the race and Madeleine was skiing hard but very much in control.
1. Kristina Strandberg
2. Mado (+12 sec)
3. Brittnew Webster (+16 sec)
4. Milaine (+21 sec)
5. Becca Rorabough (+30 sec)
The top five remained tight but Madeleine was making a significant move on the field. She was skiing with awesome tempo and cleary was dealing with the lactic load very efficiently.
1. Kristina Strandberg
2. Mado (+8 sec)
3. Brittnew Webster (+19 sec)
4. Milaine (+40 sec)
5. Becca Rorabough (+41 sec)
At this point the field had basically settled in but the splits were extremely tight. Madeleine needed to continue to ski hard right to the finish and was in the hunt for the lead.
In the end the top five finished in the exact order as the 7km split. It was an awesome race and we continue to see Madeleine's race shape develop as the season progresses.
Huge props to the race organizers for putting together three NorAm races with only a few days notice. The grooming was fantasic all week and the racing was terrific.
Also, huge props to Zach Caldwell for all of his work on Madeleine's fleet. There is a link to his site on our main page. We still have a lot to learn about the skis, but her fleet is out of control fast. Fantastic.
We leave for Duntroon (Toronto) on Wednesday for the next set of NorAm races.
We're in the Vancouver airport right now waiting for our delayed flight back to Edmonton. My laptop is going to die soon, so stayed tuned for a summary of our race wax in the next couple of days.