Sixth sense: Aschwander wins sixth straight Skyway Skuffle

Dave Aschwander is establishing a dynasty on snow.

The 41-year-old Cedaredge resident won his sixth straight Skyway Skuffle cross-country ski race Saturday at Skyway on Grand Mesa.

Aschwander finished first overall out of more than 50 racers in the 10K course. Fighting a cold wind, Aschwander came in at 35 minutes, 47 seconds.

“Today’s race was really good,” Aschwander said. “The fresh snow on the trail makes it a little slow, but all in all, it went good for me out there.”

The Skyway Skuffle is part of a four-race series put on by the Grand Mesa Nordic Council. The Skuffle is the second race of the season, with the final race set to be run in early March. All of the races are conducted on Skyway, a cross-country ski area that’s maintained by the GMNC.

“The course here is in fantastic shape,” Aschwander said. “The Nordic Council does a great job of keeping these trails groomed and ready to go. We’ve gotten so much snow, and they work hard to get these trails in such good shape.”

Aschwander should know — he’s seen plenty of good cross-country trails in his 16 years of skiing. Aschwander was a road bike racer for a long time before he was introduced to cross-country skiing by his wife Christie. The pair became good enough to race competitively on the Rossignol team for eight years.

“The thing about cross-country skiing is you get to race in really nice places,” Aschwander said. “With this sport, we’ve been all over the country and also in Europe.”

Although Aschwander doesn’t get to ski competitively as much as he used to, he still finds cross-country skiing to be one of the most challenging workouts an athlete can do.

“This sport keeps you strong in the upper and lower body,” Aschwander said. “You just have to go out and ski, and you stay in great shape.”

Dave and Christie have seen plenty of their own success with the sport, as Christie finished in the top five in Saturday’s race. But the Aschwanders are now getting into the teaching side, coaching the Mesa State College cross-country ski team.

“We have a great group of kids, and are excited about the season coming up,” Aschwander said. “This will be our first year of hitting all of the college meets, and we are hoping to get some good results.”

There will be two more GMNC races on Skyway, with the Grand Mesa Classic coming up on Jan. 31. For more information on the GMNC, go to http://www.gmnc.info.


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