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Vermont Cup Woodstock

The Vermont skiers were racing again Sunday at the Vermont Cup Woodstock. There were two days of action culminating with the Masters' races on Sunday. The Woodstock Nordic Center has been testing the waters, intending to bring more elite racing to the venue. The current environment provided the perfect opportunity to kick it up a notch. The participant caps and defined fields create more of a rotation of people coming to race in shifts rather than a massive onslaught of everyone showing up for the day. The reduced numbers make it easier for smaller centers to manage the demands of elite racing. Woodstock used the opportunity to step up and deliver.

Youth races were ongoing all weekend; however, the best was saved for last, with the Master’s taking a turn Sunday afternoon. The course was the reverse of last year’s Sweetheart Race. I preferred this configuration, and it also allowed the venue to utilize resources away from the touring center to separate the racers. I also think the course flow was more fluid, keeping racers within themselves rather than having a couple of sections that could push the heart rate through the ceiling.

The stadium was on the southern end of the Mt. Peg trail network in Knox Meadow. Skiers headed south, looping around the meadow, and then made their way up the hill on some switchbacks to Easy Glade. They followed the trail to the northern end of the network then returned to the Stadium via Brookside East. Men completed two laps to make 10km; Masters Women only raced one lap for 5km. The trails were expertly groomed. The snow was cold fresh snow but had a little speed in it. The loop was nice and rolling with no real technical sections, so racers could let their skis run uninhibited the whole way.

The Women Raced first, tacked onto the end of the open women’s 10km race field. Sara Falconer (SR(MNC)) was first in the start order. S