GEORGETOWN, Colo. Nov. 11, 2002 (Loveland Release)--The annual Nature Valley Alpine Cup races this week at Loveland Basin Ski Area open the Chevy Truck Super Series. Olympic double medalist Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), local favorite Sarah Schleper(Vail, CO) and Erik Schlopy (Park City, UT)—unbeaten at Loveland overtwo years—lead U.S. skiers chasing World Cup start spots.
European skiers are expected to include Croatia's Olympic multi-champion Janica Kostelic and her brother Ivica, the men's World Cup slalom champ.
"We're going to see some exciting races," said U.S. men's Head Coach Phil McNichol, who will select four men from the slaloms to compete in a World Cup slalom Nov. 24, in Park City, UT.
In addition to the racing excitement, fans will be treated to an expowhere manufacturers will showcase their on-snow products, productdemonstrations, product samples and concerts on both weekend days.
The Nature Valley Alpine Cup schedule at Loveland Basin, with NBCbroadcasting coverage Nov. 24:
Wednesday-Thursday — Women's giant slalom, running beginning at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. MST.
Saturday-Sunday — Men's slalom, runs beginning at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. MST
Nov. 24 — NBC televises taped coverage, beginning at 1 p.m. MST"The Nature Valley Alpine Cup races are great because they give us achance to mix top European racers with our national team athletes and our development and up-and-coming skiers," said Tom Horrocks, alpine event manager for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. "A lot of the top skiers who were in the Olympics last February will be at Loveland, so it's a great opportunity for our young skiers to improve their internationalrankings with some solid results.""Nature Valley, the official natural energy source of USSA, is proud toreturn as sponsor of this event," said Chris Brandt, marketing manager forNature Valley Granola Bars. "Whether you're a competitive racer or justski for fun, Nature Valley Granola Bars help give you energy you need fora day on the slopes."The Nature Valley Alpine Cup blends competitive racing with the largestconsumer product expo in Colorado's High Country and we're thrilled to bepart of it."The expo midway with the product demos is only one phase of the NatureValley Alpine Cup experience at Loveland Basin. There will becomplimentary Nature Valley Granola Bars and free lunchtime concerts; Saturday, Horrocks said, Colorado's own Accidental Superhero will performwhile another popular Colorado unit, the Harry Baxter Band, will befeatured Sunday at the expo area.Adding to the fun and excitement, Albertson's supermarkets in Colorado,Wyoming, Nevada and New Mexico are offering a sweepstakes this week,through Sunday, Nov. 17. One grand prize winner will get a trip for two,including airfare, lodging, meals and lift tickets to Vail resorts.Secondary prizes include Nature Valley apparel, gift bags and lift ticketsto Loveland Ski Area. Detaisl are available at participating Albertson'smarkets.