Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunlight 2012 Race Report

Next on tap for Team CB is the COSMIC Sunlight event called the Heathen Challenge, just outside of Glenwood Springs Colorado.  Jon, Jari and I made tracks (litteraly) for Kebler Pass.  We got about 100 yards from the summit and lost traction.  We hooked up with Teocalli Tamale for some fat burritos and Jari hooked up some sweet new movies.  Although it was nearly 11 when we arrived at our hotel in Glenwood the trip went quickly.  While taking our gear out of the vehicle Jon realized he didn't pack his ski boots (SCARPA Alien 1.0).  After a night of trying to help Jon strategize about racing the event with his nordic gear, Jon got a 3am phone call from Stevie and Marshall.  They were leaving CB for the event and were going to pick up Jon's boots in Gunnison!  Jon told me the next morning hoping he hadn't woken me in the night.  Game on JB!

We arrived at the resort at just past 7 for an hour of prep and warming up.  Jon and Jari looked pumped and I was psyched to represent on our new and insanely light gear!  This was going to be my first race of the season on the Ski-Trab Duo Race World Cup skis and Trab Race binding.  The pace at the front was fast and furious for the first 30 minutes.  Greg Ruckman ran to the front and kept a gap of 5-10 seconds for the first 15-20 minutes.  Marshall Thomson, Pete Gaston, and myself were in the chase group.  Marshall put in some hard efforts and left Pete behind.  I passed Pete and about 5 minutes from the top we were all together.  When I turned on a switchback near the top I saw Jon working his way up.  On the first descent there was confusion about the direction and there were about 6-8 racers bunched up.  Pete had an awesome descent and was alone at the second transition. Unfortunately Pete had some major skin issues and was passed by myself, Marshall and Jon.  I attacked the first ascent and was steady on the boot pack.  By the last skin ascent to the top I had 15 seconds.  Marshall dug deep and had me reeled in by the top.  From there to the last skin strip on Defiance we yoyo'd.  I blasted the last descent and held a 27 second margin to Marshall.  Jon blazed to the line less than five minutes later for his first COSMIC podium.  Jari had a strong race and finished on the podium for 3rd as well.  Sari Anderson took the woman's race with CB local Stevie Cramer in second.  A solid showing for the locals of Gunnison County!
Men's Podium All CB! L-R Marshall, Smithy, JB

All in all our new gear met and exceeded my expectations for lightweight performance.  The Alien boots were super stable with the new bellow-less lower shell.  The skis and bindings were not only lighter but performed better than anything else I've raced on.  Turning was effortless and precise.  The Piuma vertical poles were light enough to keep nordic race tempo on low angle approaches and accelerations.

Next stop for the team is the North American Championships on their home mountain.  With home field advantage to Team Crested Butte, top results should be expected.  Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more podiums.

CB team member
Brian Smith

No comments:

Post a Comment