Wednesday, November 21, 2001 - LatestNews
Silver Star Race Preview

The second stop of the North American Continental Cup series begins tomorrow in Silver Star, BC. The four day schedule includes three races: a 12km/6km classic race on Thursday, a sprint race on Friday and a 12km/6km skate race on Sunday. This weeks field will most likely be the most competitive and complete to contend continental cup races all year, as teams go in different directions for Olympic preparations after this point.

The course being used for tomorrow's classic race has been changed from the original plan because of the lack of snow in Silver Star, and will take place near the top of the alpine mountain. The challening 6km course climbs immediately from the start and doesn't stop for about 2.5km. The course then turns into a fast downhill for the next kilometer or so before a long and twisty flat finish. The climb will be difficult, but the long flat finish may prove to be the main challenge. Staying focused and skiing efficiently on this section will be absolutely key to success.

While the American men dominated the first continental cup races in Fairbanks, Alaska, look for a much stronger challenge from the Canadian contingent this week. Stakes will be high for everyone, as both countries will be using these races as a chance to make a big step towards Olympic selection. Indeed, if a Canadian man cannot qualify to go to the World Cup in Decemeber by finishing top three in the races here, Donald Farley will likely be the only male representative Canada will have in Salt Lake City. Watch for Robin McKeever to come out of the gate looking for blood in his quest for Olympic selection. The young contingent of Canadians should also be a much bigger factor than they were in the Fairbanks races three weeks ago (to see the fairbanks results, click here).

The women's races should be another chance for Beckie Scott to show her dominance, but the other strong Canadian's as well as American Nina Kemple will be looking to unseat her.

The course for the sprint races on Friday is still largely up in the air. The course usually used in Silver Star is among the most entertaining for spectators, but low snow levels may move the sprint races up the mountain. Snow is in the forecast, so it is hoped that the traditional village course will be usable by Friday. Sunday's skate race, which is scheduled to be 12km for men and 6km for women, could also move down the mountain to the World Cup racing trails if the weather cooperates, but only time will tell. If it does move down the mountain more traditional race distances of 15km and 10km will likely be used.

Stay tuned for results and a full account of the races here on The Nordic Chat will also feature members of the Canadian National Senior Development Team between 9pm and 10pm (EST) on Thursday night to discuss their races! Don't miss it!

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