6 U.S. Men in Aspen SLs

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Aspen, CO, Nov. 24, 2001--The Colorado Swing, which includes World Cup and Chevy Truck Super Series racing, heads into its final stage this week with six U.S. racers in World Cup slaloms Sunday and Monday at Aspen Mountain, U.S. slalom/GS Head Coach Jesse Hunt said Friday night. The Chevy Truck Aspen Winternational marks the start of continuous racing on the men's side of the Cafe de Colombia World Cup schedule.

As he made his announcement at a packed press conference at the Aspen Square Hotel, snow continued to fall. "Conditions are awesome," said John Norton, chief operating officer for the Aspen Skiing Co.; he said there already was more than a foot of hardpack snow covering the course with an additional storm expected to leave more snow before the 10 a.m. MST start of Sunday's slalom.

The American lineup:

Sunday -- Erik Schlopy (Park City, UT), Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), Chip Knight (Stowe, VT), Casey Puckett (Aspen), Tom Rothrock (Cashmere, WA), and Brad Hogan (Holmes, NY).
Monday -- Schlopy, Miller, Knight, Puckett, Rothrock and Sacha Gros (Vail, CO).

The Winternational originally had been scheduled to include a giant slalom Saturday, but a lack of snow forced officials to drop the race and concentrate on preparing the slalom hill. Norton said the 12-inches-plus of snow on Strawpile run were compacted and the snowstorm which began Thursday only made things better.

While Aspen organizers have worked 'round-the-clock in recent days to prepare the course, Hunt's squad has trained at Loveland Ski Area and Copper Mountain. "We're ready to race. The guys and the coaches are psyched to get the season going," he said.