Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Adjustment and Allocation

The ski season is in full stride now.

Whether you're skiiing the SuperTour series, or were at Sr Nationals in Anchorage, or the Double Birkie, or on your local Wednesday Night World Championships, you've gotten a chance to put a lot of km's on your skis. At this time of year it's important to review the performance of your skis and adjust and allocate skis for best performance before your biggest events.

Here's a picture of Anna Haag, © ATOMIC Austria GmbH, from La Clusaz last December.

If you've got a few pairs of skis, you'll need to decide if your favorites have the structures to match the skiing that you've got planned. If you're a competitor you have to try to match the skis with the conditions - this can require a bit of weather forecast review and guesswork. If you have several pairs, then it's important to make sure you've got the majority of situations covered to get the maximum performance from your available pairs of skis.

In the second half of the season, especially in the mid-west, emphasis on a couple of good pairs of skate and classic skis to cover the conditions spectrum is a must. In cold conditions, the fine structures perform much better than the universal grinds that come on new skis. Also, in the transformed or wet thaw/freeze snow that's been dominant in the west and great lakes region, a good transformed snow structure is equally critical

In conditions around freezing, the Ultratune D5 has been very successful, and the Ultratune M1D has been super for even warmer/wetter situations. The D5 has been the grind of choice on skaters at SuperTour events in the Northwest and the Midwest in mid-January. If you're skating a marathon in January or February, it might be the ticket to a faster race. The Ultratune M1D is a super klister grind for very transformed snow.

If there's a cold snap, try the Ultratune S2 on skate skis - it's very versatile in cold/dry conditions and has excellent top-end speed. If the snow hasn't been through significant thaw/freeze cycles and humidity is low, then the S2 will perform up into the upper 20's (F), and down to near the FIS limit.

If anticipated conditions aren't likely to dip below 10F, try the Ultratune i5. The i5 is exceptional in new snow (including falling snow) and machine groomed snow that hasn't been through thaw cycles. It's a bit more aggressive than the XC02 and S2 and handles a bit more moisture.

Turn-around times on grind work continue to be fast. Skis arriving at Nordic Ultratune by Thursday will be shipped back out (or ready for pick-up) by the following Monday - just 4 days later.

Keep in mind, though, that Nordic Ultratune will be working on skis at the Olympics and there will be no commercial grinding from Feb 9th - 28th!

Be ready for your big events. Get the skis up-to-speed now.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bravo Vesna!

Congratulations to Vesna Fabjan! Today, the 24 year old skier from Slovenija won the Rybinsk World Cup Skate Sprint. Here's the Women's Sprint Final.

This was the first World Cup win for Vesna. It's historic for skiing in Slovenija, as it marks the 2nd woman from that country to ever win a World Cup race in cross-country skiing.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

MV SuperTour Classic Results

Unofficial results from today's classic race. Individual start. "Zero" conditions - 32F and new snow.

Caitlin Compton skied a strong race, also opting for "zero" skis. Laura Valaas had another podium spot to complement yesterday's win.

1109Caitlin COMPTONGO! TRAINING00:27:27.800:00:00.000

2122Laura VALAASAPUNSC00:27:40.700:00:12.900

3117Nicole DEYONGSVSEF/FISCHER00:28:06.400:00:38.600

4119Rhonda JEWETTALBERTA WORLD CUP ACADEMY00:28:10.900:00:43.100

5112Evelyn DONGXC OREGON00:28:49.700:01:21.900

6110Brooke GOSLINGAWCA00:29:11.300:01:43.500

7111Sarah DAITCHFORT SMITH SKI CLUB00:29:20.300:01:52.500

8115Stephanie HOWEXC OREGON00:29:25.700:01:57.900

9116Katie RONSSEAPUNSC00:29:44.200:02:16.400

10120Taylor LEACHXC OREGON00:30:15.500:02:47.700

Torin Koos and Brian Gregg were on "zero" skis. Brian Gregg made up nearly 18 seconds on Koos in the final lap and finished less than a second behind. Koos was strong and fast the whole weekend.

1176Torin KOOSUSA00:34:08.100:00:00.000

2174Brian GREGGCXC TEAM VERTICAL LIMIT00:34:09.000:00:00.900

3170Drew GOLDSACKRMR/NATIONAL SKI TEAM00:34:23.200:00:15.100

4178Chris COOKSTEINBOCK RACKING00:34:32.200:00:24.100

5157Curtis MERRYBANFF SKI RUNNERS00:34:40.100:00:32.000

6173Mike HINCKLEYAPUNSC/ROSSIGNOL00:34:54.900:00:46.800

7171Haakon LENESBANFF SKI RUNNERS00:34:56.900:00:48.800

8177Pate NEUMANNCANMORE NORDIC00:35:06.700:00:58.600

9172Brayton OSGOODXC OREGON/FISCHER00:35:06.800:00:58.700

10168Michael SINNOTTSVSEF00:35:11.400:01:03.300

Koos, Compton and Gregg were in the Methow Valley for the SuperTour weekend without their customary support (Koos with USST, Gregg with CXC, Compton with Go! Training). Nordic Ultratune provided their race service for the weekend, with the especially appreciated support of Eric Redrup of Toko.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

MV SuperTour Sprint Qual Unofficial Results

Men's Sprint Qualifier Unofficial Results:

1 115 KOOS, Torin 29 USA 2:25.65 +0:00.00 1:52.0
2 130 HINCKLEY, Mike 23 APUNSC/ROSSIGNOL 2:29.82 +0:04.17 1:55.2
3 112 SINNOTT, Michael 24 SVSEF 2:30.10 +0:04.45 1:55.5
4 119 COOK, Chris 29 STEINBOCK RACKING 2:30.49 +0:04.84 1:55.8
5 113 ZIMMERMANN, Leif 26 BRIDGER SKI FOUNDATION/MADSHUS/... 2:31.56 +0:05.91 1:56.6
6 137 GREGG, Brian 25 CXC TEAM VERTICAL LIMIT 2:32.18 +0:06.53 1:57.1
7 121 GOLDSACK, Drew 28 RMR/NATIONAL SKI TEAM 2:32.64 +0:06.99 1:57.4
8 120 NANEY, Sam 25 WINTHROP WA 2:32.71 +0:07.06 1:57.5
9 129 EGAN, Cameron 24 COLDSTREAM BC 2:33.33 +0:07.68 1:57.9
10 111 ARGUE, Mike 29 YELLOWKNIFE 2:33.41 +0:07.76 1:58.0

1 159 JEWETT, Rhonda 28 ALBERTA WORLD CUP ACADEMY 2:52.22 +0:00.00 2:12.5
2 161 BJORNSEN, Sadie 20 WINTHROP WA 2:53.23 +0:01.01 2:13.3
3 156 COMPTON, Caitlin 29 GO! TRAINING 2:55.26 +0:03.04 2:14.8
4 160 VALAAS, Laura 25 APUNSC 2:56.22 +0:04.00 2:15.6
5 164 GOSLING, Brooke 29 AWCA 2:56.87 +0:04.65 2:16.1
6 158 RONSSE, Katie 24 APUNSC 2:57.65 +0:05.43 2:16.7
7 151 DE YONG, Nicole 27 SVSEF/FISCHER 2:59.68 +0:07.46 2:18.2
8 163 DAITCH, Sarah 28 FORT SMITH SKI CLUB 3:04.19 +0:11.97 2:21.7
9 152 DONG, Evelyn 24 XC OREGON 3:08.99 +0:16.77 2:25.4
10 153 SCHMIDT, Kalysta 21 APUNSC 3:09.36 +0:17.14 2:25.7

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Structure Tests - MV SuperTour

Testing was done today to check performance of various structures for the Methow Valley SuperTour.

Conditions are unseasonably warm and wet for this area, with temps just above freezing and wet snow in most areas.

Results were somewhat predictable, though some might have guessed that a more aggressive structure would have won the day. The fastest, though, in these conditions was the d5 grind.

All the skis were matched pairs of Madshus Nanosonic skaters.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Like Christmas in mid-January

It was almost like Christmas! A package arrived on Friday from Italy. A new grinding stone and some maintenance parts for the Mantec grinder.

With the new grinding machine I've been doing lots of grind testing and have really been cutting through a lot of stone. I'm not anywhere near the end of the current wheel, but it is definitely nice to have a new one in the shop and ready to roll.

352 mm in diameter, 140 mm wide. About 50 pounds. There's always a sigh of relief to find that a new stone has made it across the pond with no damage.

Getting a new silicon carbide wheel is something that only a few guys in the USA would get very amped-up about. Count me in.

The new machine has been doing great work. Lots of terrific feedback from competitors at Sr Nationals this past week, in addition to the great results seen at W. Yellowstone, Bozeman, and Silverstar in December.

IF you're in town for the Methow Valley SuperTour races on Jan 16-17th, then definitely stop in the shop to take a look.


If you're looking for new skis, Ultratune still has a lot of great pairs. Madshus Nanosonic, Atomic "Red Cheetah" World Cup skate & classic skis, and Rossignol Xium WCS. All the new skis are hand-selected, and come with a racing grind and hotbox service included.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Snow on SuperTour Trails in the Methow Valley

A New Year's Eve snowstorm brought a big pile of new snow to Washington State's Methow Valley .

The new snow is being groomed this morning, even as more snow is falling on the racing trails, in anticipation of the upcoming SuperTour events.

The Methow Valley SuperTour weekend - January 16th & 17th - will have a skate sprint on Saturday, and an interval start classic race on Sunday (15K men; 10K women).

SuperTour cash prizes for the weekend total more than $9000 and there will be a lot of prizes from event sponsors.

The Methow Valley SuperTour is presented by AeroMech Inc and Nordic Ultratune.

Register now, and get some fast boards on your feet, 'cause you'll need 'em!

The racing trails are located next to Liberty Bell High School, and there will be indoor changing rooms, registration and meeting rooms, and indoor waxing facilities.

The race courses are built to FIS standards and provide challenging racing terrain.

It's also a JOQ weekend, so there will be opportunities for fast juniors to score some USSA points against the best seniors.

More info is posted here and you can register online.