February 21, 2007
TELLURIDE, Colo. (ResortQuest Press Release)—From the World Cup circuit and Winter X Games to the heralded Winter Olympics, American ski and snowboard racers have stood apart from the competition to gain headlines and grab more than their fair share of gold, silver and bronze hardware on the podium. This storyline has held true for professional snow sports' most prestigious event, the Jeep® King of the Mountain Series, which will showcase the best of the U.S. in Seth Wesccott, Lindsey Jacobellis and Casey Puckett, as well as other champions from across the globe, during the grand finale of the Skiing & Snowboarding World Professional Championships on March 2-3 at Colorado's Telluride Ski Resort.
The grand finale from Telluride will air on March 24 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. and March 25 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. on CBS Sports. Each race of the 2006-2007 Skiing & Snowboarding World Professional Championships airs on CBS Sports, with additional broadcast coverage on nationally syndicated television.Snowsports enthusiasts interested in viewing the events live are encouraged to book with ResortQuest and receive Telluride vacation rentals and packages at discounted rates for slopeside or ski-in ski-out properties. Call 800-463-9579 or visit ResortQuestTelluride.com to inquire about Telluride lodging.
The stakes couldn't be higher in Telluride, where 24 premier athletes, including Winter Olympians, World Champions and National Champions, will battle head to head for a share of the event's record cash of $450,000 plus $20,000 in bonus cash from John Paul Mitchell Systems and the keys to a new 2007 Jeep Patriot. Most importantly, at the end of the competition new World Professional Champions will be crowned.
The action at Telluride begins with a National Open Qualifier on Thursday, March 1 at 11:00 a.m. on the Misty Maiden Course, where local amateur, club and professional ski and snowboard racers will have the opportunity to try and earn a position in the World Professional Championships. Registration for the National Open Qualifier will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. at the Peaks Lodge. The registration fee is $40.00 and includes a lift ticket.
Once the final field has been set, it's time for the real action to begin. The Skiing & Snowboarding World Professional Championships will take place on the Jeep King of the Mountain Series' innovative Y-cross racecourse. The star-studded roster will feature athletes representing Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.S. and all points in between. The skiing competition will take place on Friday, March 2, with the snowboarders taking the stage on Saturday, March 3.
Both days of racing will conclude with free entertainment and festivities for the public. On Friday following the ski competition, DJ's will spin music in the Plaza leading up to the opening ceremonies and a torchlight parade at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, the snowboard races will be followed by a free live concert by Donavon Frankenreiter at 3:30 p.m.[pagebreak]World Professional Champions are determined based on points accrued during six races spanning from December 2006 through March 2007. Previous races have taken place at Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort in Utah, Beaver Creek Resort in Colo. and Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico. Heading into Telluride, where the point values will be doubled, each of the men's and women's ski and snowboard competitions are still undecided, with numerous racers having a chance to earn the ultimate title.
In the men's snowboarding standings, Farmington, Maine's Wescott, the snowboard-cross gold medalist from the 2006 Winter Olympics currently holds the lead, trailed by Nate Holland, a 2006 Winter Olympian and New Zealand National Champion from Squaw Valley, Calif., and Canada's Drew Neilson, a 2006 Winter Olympian with six World Cup titles, a Continental Cup Championshiip, and a slew of gold, silver and bronze medals from the Winter X Games. Also in the hunt is defending World Professional Champion and 2006 Winter Olympian Graham Watanabe of Park City, Utah, Mario Fuchs of Austria, a 2006 Winter Olympian and Austrian National Champion, and the notorious Shaun Palmer of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., who this season has competed in both the snowboarding and skiing competitions. Palmer's illustrious career includes five snowboard World Championships, Winter X Games and Gravity Games gold medals in skiing, super-cross designation in the sport of moto-cross, and a mountain biking World Championship.
In women's snowboarding, Stratton Mountain, Vt.'s Jacobellis will have to fend off a field as diverse as it is deep. On her heels is Julie Pomagalski of France, who has amassed two French National Championships, a World Championship and nine World Cup titles in her career. Other notables include Doresia Krings of Austria, a 2006 Winter Olympian and two-time defending World Professional Champion, Tanja Frieden of Switzerland, the snowboard-cross gold medalist from the 2006 Winter Olympics, and Seattle, Wash.'s Marni Yamada, a member of the U.S. Snowboard Team.
In men's skiing, Aspen, Colo.'s Puckett, the defending World Professional Champion and a four-time Olympian, sits on top of the standings. Behind him is Lars Lewen of Sweden, a U.S. Freeskiing Champion and two-time gold medalist at the Winter X Games. A three-way tie for third place includes Jake Fiala of Frisco, Colo., a Winter Olympian an U.S. National Champion, Enak Gavaggio of France, winner of six World Cup titles, a Winter X Games gold medal and four International Free Skiers Association World Championships, and Tomas Kraus of the Czech Republic, who has earned a World Championship and two World Cup Championships in the past two years.[pagebreak]The women's ski competition is equally as intriguing. Ophelie David of France, the seven-time World Cup titlist, three-time World Champion and French National Champion has won both events thus far and seems primed to repeat as World Professional Champion. Behind her are three racers tied for second, including Canadian Anik Demers of Truckee, Calif., a Winter X Games gold medalist, Magdalena Iljans of Sweden, a six-time World Cup titlist and Brett Buckles of Steamboat Springs, Colo., a Gravity Game gold medalist and North American Freeskiing Champion.Racing against top rivals in front of thousands of spectators and millions of television viewers is challenge enough. Add in the Jeep King of the Mountain Series' innovative Y-cross racecourse and the result is one of the most exciting race settings in the industry. For the first part of the course, two competitors must navigate the dual features section consisting of single and double rollers. Once through this section, the two courses converge into a single course, forming the approximate shape of a Y. The second section features terrain characteristics of snowboard-cross racing, including banked turns, jumps, and tabletops. Athletes must be able to "work" the terrain features in order to generate extra speed, use techniques such as NASCAR-style drafting, and feel comfortable with another racer literally breathing down their neck. One athlete competing in Telluride will be hand selected to put their personal touch on the Y-cross racecourse as part of the Jeep King of the Mountain Series' "competitor inspired" racecourse design program, which allows the racers to hand-select the layout and technical elements most desired by the athletes themselves.