Sparing the play by play, here are a couple pictures (again courtesy of Dom Maack) and a few take aways...
- Tom Goth and Marshall Thompson were out for blood after narrowly missing the day before and went two-three to earn spots on the team.
- John Gaston pulled off impressive back to back wins
- Scott Simmons was fourth, narrowly missing a qualifying spot
- Jason Dorais and Luke Nelson, 2nd and 3rd respectively at Nationals, probably came back with weary legs and minds and finished 5th and 8th. Jason went for the win early and was leading after two climbs.
- Max Taam can descend as fast as anyone I've ever seen. He moved from 10th to 6th on the long second descent.
- Wick continued to climb well and ski beautifully for 7th.
- Greg Ruckman's skiing has improved drastically. I thought I'd pass him on the last descent as he dropped in a few moments before me...I never saw him after!
- The Targhee course is beautiful with views of the Grand and some softer backcountry style descents (and one very hateful long crusty one).
- Racing hard two days in a row is a test of recovery and mental strength. The guys with the most to gain had the best performances.
- Again the overall times from this race were faster than last year with Gaston setting the new bar at 1:36
- SLC seemed to account for at least a third of the racers present!
- Way to represent Layne, Tim, Mike, Ian, Mark, Chad, Tom, Eric, Jackie, Gemma, NFB, Toph, Nick, Teague, Blake (sorry to any I missed)!
- Andy, the race director puts on a fantastic race with a friendly local feel. Add it to your schedule next year!
On a personal level, I continued to climb better than I have in years past but my achilles is still trying to descend quickly and efficiently. I neglected to train the DH this year lost a few places as those with better pedigreed ski legs took advantage. It's something I'll have to remedy by next week if I stand a chance to make the team (more on this later).
Thanks Dominique for the photos!
|Another stupid sprint start|
|Milling about, really glad to be done with over 13000 feet of racing in two days|
Race results can be found at the USSMA website.
The races have been fantastically close with some jostling for position down the stretch each time. I've always felt that one of the things that makes this sport so fun and interesting is trying to put all the pieces together to be strong aerobically, technically sound at transitions, and just crazy enough to eek out every bit of speed on the descents from very minimal gear and tired legs. So I'm gonna chase that perfect race one more time to see if I can get my act together and maybe find a way.
Also, thanks again to Scarpa, Ski Trab, and Outdoor Research for the amazing support! The gear is so beautifully built around a single function: Moving fast in the mountains. Racing is a blast but it will soon be really fun to put our fitness, gear, and imaginations to test on some more personal projects in the Wasatch and beyond.