CXC Team Naming Announced

The 2015-16 CXC Team was announced today, as several members of the team travel to West Yellowstone, Montana for the first USSA SuperTour races of the season, Nov. 27-28. Twelve athletes were named to the CXC Team. While the majority of the team are veterans, Kyle Bratrud (Eden Prairie, MN) 2015 U.S. National Champion, Alice Flanders (Crystal, MN) NCAA All American, Abbie Drach (Eden Prairie, MN) 2015 Junior Scando Cup Team Member and Nick Power (Duluth, MN) Former CCSA Collegiate Skier for St. Scholastica, will be making their debut on the CXC Team this season. The CXC Team is excited to add even more depth to the team as they approach race season.


I am excited to get this season kicked off with the opening SuperTour races this weekend. Summer and fall training has gone well for all of the athletes that are here in West Yellowstone, MT and we are excited to put on the race bibs for the first time this season. These first races are a great way to get back into race mode after a long off season, and the team is looking to go out and put in a solid effort. Overall, I am excited for the year to come as we have a lot of strong athletes that are looking on track to post some great results. – Andy Keller, CXC Team Head Coach

This will be my first year as a professional skier for the CXC Team and I am excited to achieve my goals with the tools they have provided me throughout the season. My main focus this season is to compete for the U.S at the U23 World Championships and ski to a top ten finish. – Kyle Bratrud, CXC Team Member

View 2015-16 CXC Team Roster

Several members of the CXC Team will be competing at the USSA SuperTour opening races this weekend, Nov. 27-28 on the Rendezvous Trails in West Yellowstone, MT. The first day of competition kicks off with a 1.3k freestyle sprint race on Friday, followed by a 10k/15k freestyle race on Saturday.

Andy Keller, Head Coach
Bruce Manske, Development Coach

Craft Outwear
Rossignol Skis, Boots and Bindings
Toko Wax and Tools
Rudy Project Eyewear and Helmet
Marwe Rollerskis

Lake Express

Thanksgiving Nordic Festival at Telemark Trails

The CXC Thanksgiving Nordic Festival at Telemark Trails in Cable, WI kicks off many exciting events CXC will be hosting at this historic venue during the 2015-16 season!


CXC has been working around the clock to make snow and provide a 1km loop for skiers to enjoy. Starting on Wednesday, November 25th begin your early snow season training on a loop consisting of a 500-600 meter flat section, two small climbs with roughly 7 meters of vertical gain and one big climb with about a 20 meter vertical gain that will also be gradual enough for striding.

(Trail access on Sunday is tentative due to weather.)


Festival will also include on snow gear demos from Fischer and Rossignol where participants can test the latest equipment these companies have to offer. We hope this Festival will become a tradition for all midwestern skiers looking to get on snow early in the season rivaling other early season ski festivals.


Telemark Trails Season Ski Pass

A Telemark Trail Pass is required for all skiers utilizing the trails for either the day or the season and the pass must be displayed visibly on you at all times while skiing. Telemark Trail Passes are available on-line at or at Telemark Condos Office and Cable Area Chamber of Commerce office during work hours. Please make sure every skier in your family has a ski pass!

Telemark Trial Pass:
$50 – Adult Season Pass
$25 – 18 and younger Season Pass
$10 – Day Pass

*All funds collected from ski passes will go towards snowmaking, trail maintenance and grooming. We count on your support, thank you!

CXC Thanksgiving Nordic Festival Schedule

Two Months Before First CXC Marathon Cup Race!


Just two months left before the first CXC Marathon Cup race. The series brings the six most prominent marathons from three states (MN,WI,MI) into one cohesive competition.

Seeley Hills 42K Classic in Seeley, WI is the first race to kick off the CXC Marathon Cup event on January, 16 2016. The race series is evenly split between classic and skate techniques, with two classic weekends, two skate weekends, one skiathlon weekend, and one weekend with back-to-back classic and skate races.

There are four basic competition categories: Overall, Age-Indexed Overall, Age Class, and Team/Club.


Register as a 2015-16 CXC/USSA Master member to compete in the CXC Marathon Cup.

CXC/USSA Master membership is not required to score points, however your membership helps to support CXC Marathon Cup and grass-roots Nordic programs around Midwest. Anyone participating in a Cup race is automatically considered for the overall champion, age-indexed champion, and age-group champion awards.


Register as a CXC Club/Team to compete in the CXC Marathon Cup.

1. Teams can have an unlimited number of racers.
2. Racers will be eligible to score points for their teams by listing their team affiliation when they register for the individual races.
3. Eligible racers to score for the team are those registered as CXC/USSA Masters Members.
4. Total points for the Series will be the sum of the points from all races.
5. The team with the most points total will be the winner.
6. Ties will be broken using the teams total number of points in a single race.


January 16, 2016

Seeley Hills Classic / 42K Classic

January 23, 2016

Noquemanon Ski Marathon / 50K Classic

February 7, 2016

City of Lakes Loppet / Minne Tour or Loppet Challenge

February 13, 2016

Vasaloppet USA / 58K Freestyle

February 20, 2016

American Birkebeiner / 51K Skate

March 5, 2016

Great Bear Chase / 50K Skiathlon


The top three male and female in each age group from the final points list of the race series will be eligible to attend the camp.

Participants will enjoy three days of structured training, complemented with technique sessions and video analysis by professional coaching and Birkie winners. Experience an environment as it would be at the National Team camp!

Where: Hayward-Cable Area (Wisconsin)
When: October 2016
Cost: Travel, room and board not included


Yuriy Gusev, CXC Athletic Director

For further information or details, please feel free to contact Yuriy Gusev

Skate Ski Flex for Dummies (aka the rest of us)

By: CXC Team Member, Andy Brown

I would like to preface this article by saying that having me writing about ski flex is similar to a freshman physics student lecturing about quantum electrodynamics. It’s going to be crude, and will probably cause vomiting, hair loss, and general malaise in anyone who knows better. If I can pass on a tidbit of knowledge, and give some general rules of thumb, I’ve more than exceeded my pay grade. Also most of this information was learned via osmosis from my roommate and flex guru Josh Doebbert.

Countless years have been spent collectively by the ski community worrying about which wax to choose for the next upcoming citizen race. Skiers will argue back and forth about brands, hardness, mixing, layers, graphite, fluoro, et cetera ad infinitum. I know, I’ve done it too. You just can’t help it. I once shouted to my friend across a parking lot before a race which fluoro I corked in and had 20+ master racers stare open eyed like I had just prophesied buying stock in Apple in 2005. While it is true the wax does matter, the flex characteristic of your ski is a more important and often overlooked parameter in determining overall performance. The fastest 130% pure-fluoro-holy-water-unicorn-blood uber wax in the world won’t save you when you take a squirrely powder ski out on an ice rink and fly face first into a pine tree. Do you want to fly face first into a pine tree? Didn’t think so; better learn how to choose a ski appropriate for the conditions. Moving on. We agree that we want a ski that will provide the best performance for a given day, What is the best performance? Obviously the ski that helps us ski a certain course in the minimum amount of time is the best. To do this we need a combination of stability, floatation, and moisture control. Since the memory (or lack there) of our recent encounter with a conifer is fresh, let’s begin with stability.

Ski stability is achieved by edge force and contact zone spacing. Unstable skis want to rotate under your foot like the hand of a clock. To counter this an opposing torque needs to be generated to prevent the rotation. Sideways force is generated when the ski’s edges dig into the snow near the tip and tail. Since where these edges contact the snow are spaced apart from the foot, this creates a lever (moment) arm and a stabilizing torque which we need to avoid running into another tree. The spacing of these contact zones is often referred to the ski’s wheelbase. For the edges to dig in, the ski needs enough torsional rigidity to prevent twisting of the tip and tail of the ski. Grab the tip of your ski and try twisting it clockwise, if it twists a lot it will make it harder for a ski to hold an edge in icy conditions. The good news is most higher end skis have good stiffness in this dimension and there is relatively little harm in having “too much” torsional rigidity if you ride your skis flat like your coach was yelling at you to do. Shamless plug, Rossignol skis are known for having some of the best torsional rigidity on the market. High school skiers take note; this is an excellent way to talk your parents into buying you a more expensive model of ski, “I really need this ski so the added torsional rigidity will generate more edge force and prevent me from crashing into a pine tree. You wouldn’t want me to crash into a pine tree would you?” When things get icy the force generated at the contact zone edges goes down. To counter this, hardtrack skis have longer contact zones (increases edge force) that are spaced further from the foot (increases moment arms) and thus restore the torque that was lost by the harder snow. Great, so to not hit the tree we just need good torsional rigidity and two long contact zones way the heck out near the tips and the tails and everything will be hunky-dory. Well not quite. Notice how the optimal answer to any problem is never an extrema (politicians I’m talking to you). The same is true here. Stability is often traded off with our next performance attribute, floatation.

foo1 copy

Floatation is a pretty easy concept. Floating over the snow takes less energy than sinking in and plowing through. To float over soft snow we need as low of base pressure as possible and a soft tip and tail to conform to the snow. Problem is when we were optimizing our ski for tree avoidance we intentionally limited the contact to near the tips and tails reducing the total contact area and increasing the pressure. Worse yet in making the ski bridge stiff enough to hold those distance contact zones, we unwittingly stiffened the tip and tail making the ski less compliant. Sure we might not hit that pine tree anymore, but the skis are stiff and have high pressure. The hardtrack skis are going to dig into soft snow faster than a ice auger running on nitromethane. Also the stiff tip will make climbing about as enjoyable as a root canal. Okay, so we really still don’t want to hit the tree, but we’d rather not punch into level 5 every time there’s an uphill or fresh snow. We decide to compromise a bit. We keep the long contact zones which will give good edge force and low base pressure. We soften up the camber and tip little bit so it doesn’t plow but still has enough contact zone spacing to give stabilizing torque. There, we’ve made the one ski quiver killer, and we ski happily off into the sunset avoiding trees the whole way…and then it gets warm.

In the Midwest the stable-floaty ski we built is actually pretty darn good for most days. It can do a lot of conditions well and coupled with a fine grind is great for typical conditions. When it’s -15 we tend to forget that snow is actually water and when it finally gets warm enough that you can distinguish the gender of a skier from more than three feet, that snow starts act more like water. When a ski exerts pressure on snow that is warm enough, it causes partial melting. This is a good thing most of the time which is why skate skiing is more fun when it’s warm enough that you only need one pair of wind briefs. Too much water however creates a suction effect. A coarser grind can help with moisture management, but at a certain point our ski just can’t keep from getting sucked down. To beat the moisture we need small contact points and a camber that rapidly rises from the snow to break the suction. Well that stinks. If we do build a ski for stability and flotation, the low riding camber and long contact zones will literally suck in moisture. If we build a hardtrack-wet ski, the high tip and tail pressure and short contact zones will kill us in cold soft snow, and finally if we build a floaty-wet ski we lose our contact zone spacing and stabilizing torque and we run into that stupid tree again. It’s an impossible problem to solve…Wait why are all those world cup skiers traveling around with vans full of skis?

No ski can do everything perfectly. There are great skis out there that can do many things quite well but adding skis improves performance especially in extreme conditions. Two or three well chosen pairs can do almost everything (if you structure appropriately). Sure skiers on the world cup have 40+ pairs, but a small well thought out quiver will serve 99.9% of skiers just fine.

Rossignol makes this really easy with three condition specific models. The S1 for colder soft conditions, the S2 for universal conditions and more hardtrack, and the S3 for wet.
Knowing all this the next time on the trail we look at the snow before we pull our skis out of the bag. We grab a ski with enough flotation that we don’t plow, enough moisture management to prevent suction, and enough stability so we don’t run into that damn tree again.

Building Endurance for the Season Ahead

By: CXC Team Member, Nicolette Reker

nr blog

To begin, I am very excited to be a part of the new branch of a CXC Masters program in Winona, MN! I will be coaching a session with the group once a month working on classic and skate technique as well as building athlete fitness for the upcoming winter season. Being an active member in the ski community goes beyond my participation in racing alone. Since I have graduated high school in 2013 I have coached a variety of groups of athletes in the Minnesota Nordic community and I am eager to continue coaching with CXC in Winona.

As always, Rossignol, Toko and Marwe keep me going every day!

As always, Rossignol, Toko and Marwe keep me going every day!

Fall training has been going well. Another Chequamegon 40 is in the books and now I am in full ski-training mode. With the nice weather we have been experiencing in Winona, I look for any chance to get outside and enjoy it (but I am anxious for the cool down and very ready for snow.) I have been focusing on building strength and getting some intensity in on the skis. As for improvements, I need to get out for some longer roller skis to gain more endurance.

November 2nd and still running in a tank top!

November 2nd and still running in a tank top!

The last couple months I have been filling out applications for my clinical rotation in a hospital starting next fall (Clinical Laboratory Science BS). I have been accepted to a program in Iowa and I have an interview at the Mayo Clinic mid-November. My mother has also completed her final radiation treatment and has returned to work. We couldn’t be more excited for that to be over! School is still crazy busy, and I am almost done with my training at the hospital and will be set free to works as a Phlebotomist on my own. The experience in the hospital has been great so far and I know I am entering into a fun and exciting career.

Roll Until the Snow Flies

By: CXC Team Member, Chris Pappathopoulos 

In September I wrote “Summer is doing a bit of protesting this week, but soon we’ll be seeing our breath in the air in the morning and frost on the roofs.” Turns out summer has been doing more than a little protesting. As much as I like my Marwe Roller Skis, Craft summer wear and Rudy Project helmet, my feelings wouldn’t be hurt if they were put on the shelf for a few months.

T shirts and shorts getting more use than normal this year.

T shirts and shorts getting more use than normal this year.

It’s tough to get a good picture of training this time of year. It mostly looks like this.

Teaching the wind who is boss before the November storm rolled through.

Teaching the wind who is boss before the November storm rolled through.

In other news, the Nelson Rd Nordic Center of Excellence has been undergoing extensive upgrades in the last week thanks to eBay and the Madnorski swap meet.

The slide board was the find of the MadNorSki swap. $5 well spent.

The slide board was the find of the MadNorSki swap. $5 well spent.

The first Up Up and Away 10K is being held Nov 14 at Blue Mound State Park. With about 900 ft of elevation gain, it is a tough course. This year it is an informal time trial. Hopefully next year it will be an organized race. For anyone interested we are planning on starting at 10:30am at Ryan Rd and F. There will also be an easier 5K option which is the first half of the 10K course.

Up Up and Away 10k Course

Up Up and Away 10k Course

Last but not least Snow Machine 1.0 is in the middle of a big volume Nordic training block now that it is back on the road.

As everyone knows, the true measure of a car is how well it can take Nordic jumps.

As everyone knows, the true measure of a car is how well it can take Nordic jumps.

CXC Spotlight: ‘Nordic Rocks’, Going Beyond the Introduction of Cross Country Skiing

Lincoln Elementary School in Madison, WI is just one of 60 schools throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan who participate in the ‘Nordic Rocks’ For Schools Program. A program developed to introduce a new generation of children in grades K through 6th to the excitement of cross country skiing.

Clare Segin, explaining skis to her class at Lincoln Elementar

Clare Seguin, explaining skis to her class at Lincoln Elementary

An interview with Clare Seguin, an avid skier, as well as a 3rd, 4th and 5th grade science enrichment teacher at Lincoln Elementary School  and participant of the ‘Nordic Rocks’ for Schools Program.

The ‘Nordic Rocks’ program provides each school with skis that are equipped with easy to use step-in bindings, curriculum materials, and consultations about teaching students how to ski. The CXC staff also helps to assign 2-3 volunteers from the community, who are cross country skiers, to assist schools and teachers.


For Lincoln Elementary and many other schools who participate, the ‘Nordic Rocks’ program is more than just an introduction to a new sport. The program teaches kids to live a healthy lifestyle, helps them focus better in school, and gives low-income children an opportunity to try something new. Skiing often becomes a lifelong sport for students and their families to enjoy in the winter. Overall, the student response to the program and cross country skiing at Lincoln Elementary has been a fun and positive activity.

“Some kids see the skis and say “oh great I go skiing all the time with my family” and that is very few of our kids because we have a high population of low income families. Lincoln Elementary has families and kids who are Bhutanese refugees, Hmong and Hispanic kids who are fairly new to the north so cross country skiing is a pretty new sport for the majority of our kids. We have kids who have never skied before and absolutely love it, which is always exciting, and some kids try it and don’t like. It’s always a little surprising which kids are going to like it and which kids don’t. After kids experience the program for one season, I have a lot of students come back the next year and ask if they are going to ski again this year.” Explains Clare.


Lincoln Elementary implemented the ‘Nordic Rocks’ program three years ago because it helped the school continue to teach their mission and focus on health and wellness for students.

“To teach wellness, Lincoln Elementary is developing outdoor facilities called “outdoor wellness.” The facilities include a trail that goes around our playground and a running club called Girls on the Run, as well as a gardening club. The school didn’t have a program in winter, so the ‘Nordic Rocks’ was the perfect program and opportunity to fill in that chunk of time during the school year when we have snow, to have kids on skis when running around isn’t as easy.”

IMG_0193 copy

With the convenience of having students ski right behind the school, Lincoln Elementary has seen the benefits of the ‘Nordic Rocks’ program not only as a way to promote wellness, but as a way to give kids engaging activities that will benefit them in school as well.

“Giving kids one more activity they find interesting and engaging, as a way to use their bodies to help settle their minds and be more available for the traditional learning is really beneficial and the ‘Nordic Rocks’ program provides that. We find when kids have those different things engaging them at school, asking the students to sit down and do their math and other homework is a little bit easier for them to do.”

We asked Clare why she supports the ‘Nordic Rocks’ program as a teacher and as a skier.

“I support the program because it is good for the students. I am also an avid skier and have known Yuriy Gusev, CXC Executive Director, since he started the Russian ski school and I know anything he puts his mind to is going to be good. What the program has provided for the students was worth jumping on the bandwagon. I always wanted to have something like this at my school and to have kids be able to ski around the school. This program makes that possible.”


During the inaugural season 2013-2014, the ‘Nordic Rocks’ for Schools Program was implemented in 15 schools throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota. In two short seasons, the program has made an impact on thousands of new skiers. With over 3,500 elementary schools across Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan the opportunity to teach children the joy of winter sports is virtually unlimited. The financial support from grants, corporate sponsors, and community advocates will help sustain the ‘Nordic Rocks’ program well into the future. The program will be adding 20 new schools during the 2015-2016 ski season for a total of 60 schools throughout the Midwest.

For more photos from the ‘Nordic Rocks’ program, visit the CXC SmugMug page.


Mary Kozloski is CXC’s Communication and Media Coordinator. Mary has a Bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where she majored in Public Relations with a minor in Business Administration, competed as a member of UW-Grean Bay Nordic Ski Team and was team captain for two years.