Both local race series heating up in Week 3 |

Both local race series heating up in Week 3

Daily File Photo Nate Peterson

Forget the big flag. Snub the hubbub over the new conference center.Cross out the controversy over the new Crossroads development.Want something that really gets locals riled up?Try the Beaver Creek Resort Race Series and the Vail Town Race Series.Over the years, locals have grown to depend on both series for their weekly fix of gate bashing and trash talking, just as they’ve come to depend on other things – freshies in the trees, Michael Cacioppo throwing tantrums at town council meetings (not reliable anymore) and cold beer at Pepi’s.One can always depend on the trash talking.

It’s a staple of the postrace parties and, depending on the week, tends to be funnier than a good Tipsline day.It’s all in good clean fun, too. To win is one thing. To win and then brag about it is another. To win and brag about it and then back it up the next week with another win is even better.And, of course, to win both series and have your picture snapped, in the buff, with the rest of your team for the annual Vail Undressed calendar – a favorite among locals – is the best.Just in case you weren’t paying attention, Team Snowell’s month is January (and the skis don’t cover up that much).Yes, the Beaver Creek Resort Series and the Vail Town Race Series are both a boon for ski racers young and old. They represent a place where former U.S. Ski Team members can put on their speed suits again and forget about their day jobs, where co-workers can take pride in their place of employment by racing on a team with one another, and where everyone – rich, poor, young, old, men, women – can come together afterward to share a few beers (or margaritas) and get some cool swag.The postrace parties are also a great place to get some hilarious interviews while getting to know some longtime locals.As for what’s happened so far this year in both series through three weeks of the season?

After Monday’s Beaver Creek Resort Series slalom – the third race of the season – defending champion Snowell is in its usual spot atop the leader board, but it is not a comfortable position.The Snowell boys have a mere 1.5-point lead over Grimaldi Real Estate with 80.5 points. Coyote Cafe is right behind in third place with 78 points, and World Cup Custom Builders are in fourth place with 75.5 points. In Monday’s slalom, World Cup Custom Builders’ Sean Ramsden snagged the prized 20 win points with the fastest overall time of 34.55 seconds. Snowell’s Jon Meckem was runner-up with a time of 35.30, Grimaldi Real Estate’s Brett Snyder took third in 35.53 and Snowell’s Franz Fuchsberger was fourth in 37.33.Other notables were Coyote Cafe’s Ron Rupert, who won the men’s snowboard division (46.95); Snowell’s Drew Hauser, who won the men’s telemark division (46.65); and Coyote Cafe’s Kathryn Keane, who was the fastest woman overall with a time of 40.54. Susan Johnson won the women’s snowboard division in 59.66, and Anna Methvin won the women’s telemark division in 66.00.Last Wednesday in the first race of the Vail Town Race Series, following a Week 1 cancellation because of too much snow, Snowell’s arch rival JL Viele/Mill Creek had a strong showing and jumped to the front of the queue in the race for the overall title with a 15-12 lead. Team captain David Viele had the fastest overall two-run time of 27.62, and teammate Brett Snyder came in third in 28.59.Snowell was represented in the top 10 by Eric Archer (second, 28.49), Meckem (fourth, 28.81), Christian Questad (fifth, 28.94) Fuchsberger (seventh, 29.75) and Martin Bell (eighth, 29.77).

Behind Snowell in the overall points series is the Derby Mesa Racers team with 10 points. The Apollo Park Team has yet to earn a point this season. While so much remains up for grabs at this early juncture in the season, there is one certainty heading into Wednesday’s race – JL Viele/Mill Creek’s Craig Kosko will be wearing a speed suit.Kosko, a newbie to the series this year, and a strong skier who Viele is hoping will help his team snap Snowell’s impressive win streak, showed up to the first race last Wednesday in his regular ski outfit.”I don’t think he knew how serious we take this series,” Viele said.Added Snyder, “We were about to kill him. He didn’t have a clue.”Ahhhh, the local race series. There’s nothing like them.Staff Writer Nate Peterson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 608, or via e-mail at Colorado

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