March 24, 2012 (Craftsbury Common, VT) – We caught up with some of the podium finisher’s at today’s 3km Freestyle Prologue at USSA Supertour Finals for their take on the conditions, the courses and their races… along with some great photos from Herb Swanson. Here’s what the day’s fastests skiers had to say… full results HERE.
Jessie Diggins – 1st Women
I’ve had the week to get used to the time change and take a little break from racing, and enjoy the sunshine and incredibly good weather here in Vermont. I’m definitely running on adrenaline for these last few races; I’m super excited to finish up the season and then get home and sleep in my own bed and see my family again!
The course today was amazing, I’m super impressed with all the work Craftsbury has put into it. It was pretty hard and icy fast for the women, and it was definitley a little challenging having to race without getting to ski the course at all because you’re balance was all off and you didn’t know how the icy the corners would be. But that’s part of the fun of spring series, and I think the course will hold up just fine for tomorrow’s race. As usual our coaches did a great job waxing despite the challenges of limited testing on course and my Salomons were running fast!
Whenever people ask me if I’m “prepared for a race” or “feeling fit” I never know what to say because I don’t usually analyze that stuff; there’s nothing I can do at this point in the season to change it anyways! I can’t change how I feel on race day, only how much of an effort I put out there. So yeah, this week I’m ready to do my best to finish the season on a really good note.
The months I spent on the World Cup were amazing, and so much fun. It was a real eye-opener, and left me excited to train this summer with a lot of enthusiasm for the years to come. I think that being there with such a strong, fun group of athletes and coaches was so important to having a great season, and I feel like there’s been this great attitude shift from “ok cool we’re here and racing” to “let’s go WIN these races! we belong here”. It’s been really fun to be a part of that, and see our team scoring points right and left!
Holly Brooks – 2nd Women
The race today was tough – I felt clumsy out there having not skied at all before the race start but the conditions were the same for everyone. The course was really varied throughout – thin and icy in places and soft and punchy in others. There was a long, flat section at the top that was rippled so it was really, really difficult to balance and be aggressive with your body position.
There was a similar condition the other day and our girls team likened it to “riding a wild bull!” That said, I am extremely impressed with the job that the organizing committee and volunteers are doing here. The only reason we are able to ski race is because of countless hours of hard work and dedication. My ski hat goes off to the folks at Craftsbury!
As for my wrist, it’s completely healed and feels fine. The fitness – we shall see. I felt decent at the OPA finals last weekend.
Last year I was runner up in the mini Tour behind Kikkan Randall and was the overall SuperTour champ. As for goals, I would love to finish on the podium in every race this week but it will be tough as there are lots of strong girls here. Kikkan and Chandra Crawford will show up in a couple of days which will throw more stronger names into the hat!
Simi Hamilton – 1st Men
Yeah, today was a good day. They did a great job with the course and hauling snow out there. They have been working around the clock and are pulling it off very well. I was healthy when I left Europe two weeks ago but was battling that stomach bug that everyone has gotten this year when I was up at the Canadian Nationals this week. I am very happy with how the final two world cup weekends turned out and I’m psyched for next season already. It should be a good week of racing here and I’m feeling like I have my energy back again.
Sylvan Ellefson – 2nd Men
The course is holding up very well here in Craftsbury. It’s great skiing here. Today I felt like I had something to prove since my last Prologue was interrupted by a crash. I felt great, some pretty extreme pain in my leg by the end, but overall a great feeling today. Our skis were amazing as we have some of the best techs in the country taking care of them. Waxing will be pretty interesting the next couple of days.
The World Cup was a great experience for me. An experience that’s irreplaceable in terms of preparing for future world cups and the Olympics. I learned a lot skiing with those guys over there.
We’ll see how my leg holds up – I am pretty excited to continue racing over the next couple of days!
Noah Hoffman – 3rd Men
My race today was a good start to the mini-tour. I’ve struggled over the Prologue distance in the past, and I feel that I am getting better at pacing these events. I was happy with my result, and feel that it sets me up well for the coming days. Simi, Sylvan, and Erik skied really well, and I’m happy for them. We are so lucky to have races here. The organizers have done a monumental job. It is truly impressive that we are able to ski at all.
My skis were great today. Our techs from Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, Caldwell Sport, and Rocky Mountain Nordic are the best in the business. We have incredible support here. I believe my form is good and I’m looking forward to the next four races. This season has been a good step in the right direction for me. I am happy with how things have gone and extremely excited for the years to come.