Note: This post has been updated to reflect Joe Dubay’s disqualification for racing in the wrong bib. Dubay finished first in the classic race, but was wearing the bib of his teammate at the College of Saint Scholastica, Chris Parr.
HAYWARD, Wis. — U.S. Ski Team member Tad Elliott and Holly Brooks of Alaska Pacific University outlasted their elite competition at the 39th American Birkebeiner on Saturday to win the men’s and women’s 50 k skate races, respectively.
Elliott broke away from the pack with about 15 kilometers to go, opening up a gap to more than 30 seconds with 6 k remaining. He beat former CXC teammate Matt Liebsch (Team Strong Heart/Team Birkie) by 13.7 seconds with a winning time of 2:04.48.5.
Brian Gregg (CXC) was third (+14.8), two-tenths of a second ahead of Canadian Michael Somppi (NDC Thunder Bay).
In the women’s race, Brooks beat Caitlin Gregg (CXC) to the line by 0.4 seconds, winning in 2:18.53.2. The two consistently led a pack of about a half dozen women throughout the 50 k and broke away with about 20 k to go. Jennie Bender (CXC) made her way to the front of the chase group and finished third (+2:53.1) in her first Birkie skate race. Bender won last year’s 54 k classic race.
Minnesota’s Joe Dubay (Saint Scholastica) was the first to cross the line in the men’s classic race on Saturday, but was later disqualified for racing in a bib that belonged to his teammate at the College of Saint Scholastica, Chris Parr.
David Chamberlain of Boulder Nordic Sport, who was originally second but a small margin, moved to first. Norway’s decorated Olympian, Vegard Ulvang placed third.