Keith Kogut and Evan Greenberg managed to hold off the field to capture an exciting, action-packed Gauntlet Relay.
The Gauntlet, now in it’s 10th year, is an annual Relay that tests Peru Nordiques as they alternate sprint laps out of New-New-JetLife-Gauntlet Stadium. This event has also been absorbed by the famous Peru Nordic Tour de Ski and skiers are placed on relay teams relative to their Tour standings.
This year’s race saw an unprecedented number of teams compete. Seven strong squads provided entertaining racing for the throngs of fans on hand. Numerous lead changes and surges made for exciting action. Kogut and Greenberg went out hard early, but struggled with hanging on to the lead over the duo of Stan Hatch and Bryce Hartman. In the end, Greenberg’s kick was too much for Stan Hatch to match.
The race saw some of the Tour de Ski contenders fail to make any moves in the overall standings. Jim Kobak, teamed with Janet Findlay, finished 5th overall in the Gauntlet, keeping him in 3rd overall in the Tour Standings. Amanda Zullo, paired with Elena Beideck, was in striking distance of the Tour overall lead, but a 7th place hampered that chance, and remains in second place. Bryce Hartman now sits 4th overall in the Tour based on his team’s strong showing today. A few choice hits during tomorrow’s Cut-Throat Biathlon Tour Finale will move him into a podium position in just his first Tour de Ski.
The big winner on the day was Chris Rose. Rose, paired with Ethan, dug deep and moved up to the bronze medal position in today’s race. His effort all but assured him of another Tour de Ski overall victory. It will take a lot of tennis balls in tomorrow’s Biathlon Finale to knock him off of the throne.
After today’s race, skiers were treated to the (hopefully) Annual Gauntlet New Years Day Banquet at Van Ho… Thanks Rebecca and the crew at MVH!!!!
The Tour de Ski culminates tomorrow with the Cut-Throat Biathlon Finale. Skiers will race the standard War Ensemble Course, stopping between laps to shoot tennis balls at the targets. Each hit will be worth 20 seconds of penalty time aimed at another skier; It should be an exciting end to the 2012-13 Peru Nordic Tour de Ski!!!