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Craftsbury TD Bank Eastern Cup Race Report
By:  Matt Brown   (2013/12/30)

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This past weekend marked the first races of the year in the TD Bank Eastern Cup series that took place in Craftsbury, Vermont. Members of the team braved the winter storm on Friday and took to the roads to get down south for some pre-Christmas racing.

The weekend would feature a 1.4km skate sprint and 10km mass start classic for the women and a 15km classic mass start for the men. Despite the warm temperatures and rainy weather the sprints went ahead and the conditions held up. The course proved to be very fast with some winding uphills and downhills. With some excellent skis from our great wax technicians Justin and Claude the XC Ottawa men and women had some great early results in an otherwise highly competitive field.

On the women's side, a large contingent of 152 skiers made for qualifying very competitive, with members of the national team present in the lineup. Sheila narrowly missed qualification by a margin of 3 seconds while placing 40th. Holly had a great qualification time and made her way around the course to finish in 63rd position out of the large field. Katie also had a great opening day of racing however, she too missed qualification by 22 seconds.

The men's races lacked no talent either in another large field of 202 skiers and Xc Ottawers Riel, Steffan and Matt took to the sprint course in a fashionable manner. Riel was the top qualifier of the crew qualifying in 27th place, with Steffan placing 50th just missing qualification by a margin of 5 seconds. Matt rounded out the pack by skiing to a time of 03:24.17 around the 1.4km course which put him out of qualifying by only 9 seconds. Riel would be the lone skier to move into the heats where he was able to move up into 19th place overall out of the 202 skier contingent but was eliminated during the quarterfinals.

Sundays races were scheduled to be a 10/15km classic mass start, however were ultimately cancelled due to the freezing rain and warm temperatures. So the racers and wax crew would take to the roads and back to Ottawa driving in again, very marginal conditions. (In fact they have recently scheduled production of a movie to be made of the epic drive back, view the trailer here:

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All in all, it was a great opening weekend of racing and a good warm up for things to come! We'll be visiting Craftsbury again later this year, however up next we will see some of our racers competing at the first Ontario Cup of the year, followed by the NorAm events from Canmore.

Matt & Holly Obviously happy to be racing again!