MORA, Minnesota (February 14, 2016) – The fourth weekend of the CXC Marathon Cup series was greeted by sub-zero temperatures in Mora, at the start of the Vasaloppet 58k freestyle mass start. Matt Liebsch (Minneapolis, MN) claimed his second Marathon Cup victory for the men and CXC Team athlete Natalia Naryshkina dominated once again to claim her fourth straight Marathon Cup victory.
In the women’s 58k freestyle race, Naryshkina proved her strength and resilience once again as she skied to a convincing first place. Naryshkina finished 11 minutes ahead of Melissa Lewis (Fairbanks, AK) and CXC Team athlete Hilary Patzer who finished third. Naryshkina has been dominating the CXC Marathon Cup series, winning the 42k Seeley Hills Classic, the 50k classic Noquemanon, and the overall Minne Tour title at the City of Lake Loppet.
“Despite really cold weather, my skis had great glide,” said Naryshkina. “We raced on 4 laps by 12km. I really liked the course and organizers did all they could to put together high quality event. There was very little snow in town, but great atmosphere at the event!”
The men’s race was not as predictable, as it was a battle to the finish for the top podium position. Liebsch was able to edge CXC Team athlete Andy Brown by 4.73 second to claim first and CXC Team athlete, Chris Pappathopoulos followed close behind in third. CXC Team athlete Cory Ellertson was just out of reach of the podium finishing fourth, just ahead of teammate Nick Power who finished sixth.
The CXC Marathon Cup series continues February 20, with the coveted American Birkebeiner 51k skate race. With the cancellation of the La Transjurassienne FIS Worldloppet Cup race in France due to a lack of snow, the American Birkebeiner is now set to replace this race making it even more competitive.
CXC MARATHON CUP SCHEDULE
January 16, 2016
January 23, 2016
February 7, 2016
February 13, 2016
February 20, 2016
American Birkebeiner / 51K Skate
March 5, 2016
Great Bear Chase / 50K Skiathlon