Loomis Administers A Beating

July 17, 1999 - Park City, UT

Today was the second stage in the most prestigious race on wheels. The first stage was for the sprinters, and those who could go all out on the flats were rewarded with some fine finishes. But this week we hit the mountains. Its time for the sprinters to drop off and the real skiers to take control. Apparently there are a lot of wanna-be real skiers out there because we had a record size crowd. Not only did we hit double digits in numbers, we also had very competitive racers. It was pointed out that if we could get FIS points for this race, it probably would have had a penalty lower than most real races in this country. But FIS points were not on the line, something much more important was - bragging rights for the next two weeks and the right to wear the yellow jersey.

This week's race was a ~5K Freestyle. The first 2K were rolling terrain, but the final 3K were almost all uphill making for a tough little course. The racers started one every 30 seconds. Cory, who was timing as well as racing, went out first with a two minute gap to ensure he would get to the finish first. He was all by himself out there and felt very tired from the start, but fought through it to post a time of 12:39. How would that stack up against the racers still on the course? He found out soon enough as they came up the final hill one by one to finish. The first racer, Eric Teitze, came along much sooner than expected and his time of 13:02 held up for a top five finish. Very impressive for a high school kid competing against a number of collegiate champions and All-Americans. Then the big boys started finishing. Rune Kollerud put up a fast time of 12:25 and looked very strong in the process. But that's when Scott Loomis decided to make us all feel foolish for even showing up. It was common knowledge that Loomis has been fuming ever since the last IRS race. He hadn't been sleeping or eating or working (of course Loomis never works anyway). He had been training 24/7 for two weeks just for this race. As if that wasn't enough, he also insisted on racing with the pair of poles that Cory had won with last week. There was a fire in his eyes that we usually only see when he is on stage with Jack Russell. Everyone who was present today found out why Scott is the poster boy for rollerskiing in North America. As he came up the last hill, it was clear he was getting much more out of each stride than anyone else out there. He blew through the finish in a time of 11:48. The only person still on the course who was a threat to his time was Frode Kollerud. When Frode came through with a time of 12:40, and was just edged out by Cory for 3rd place, we all knew how impressive Scott's time was. The victory, coupled with Cory's third place finish also catapulted Scott into first in the overall points. By the way, isn't it a little suspicious that Cory was timing and managed to finish third by a mere second? Just a thought. When asked about losing the yellow jersey, Cory said "Yeah it hurts me, but not nearly as much as I'm going to hurt him." Smith then had to be restrained when he started taking swings at Loomis. Speaking of getting beat up, Eli Brown managed to compete even after taking a nasty spill and narrowly avoiding being run over during the warm-up.

After the race, Loomis was finally at peace and had little to say. "I had to hammer my ski on the fireplace this morning to straighten it out, but I guess its OK now" was the only insight he gave into his impressive victory. Since he was being such an interviewer's nightmare, the following quote was made up for him. " Everyone else just sucks. I don't know why they bother. If they show up again in two weeks I will spank them even harder. Oh yeah - and Skid Row rules!!"

Once again there were no chipwiches for the winner. As a result, Tollhouse chipwiches have been dropped as an official sponsor. Instead, this race was sponsored by watermelon, courtesy of Eli.

Can Loomis hang on to his lead? Will Smith make a comeback? Will the Kolleruds catch up with both of them? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop? Find out in two weeks.

1 Scott Loomis Nordic Equipment 11:48 30
2 Rune Kollerud Nordic Equipment 12:25 25
3 Cory Smith Nordic Equipment 12:39 21
4 Frode Kollerud Nordic Equipment 12:40 18
5 Eric Teitze Park City Junior Team 13:02 16
6 Pat Casey University of Utah 13:04 15
7 Erik Stange Nordic Equipment 13:31 14
8 Eli Brown University of Utah 13:37 13
9 Zach Simons University of Utah 14:32 12
10 Jesse Lassley University of Utah 14:34 11