World Cup expected to return to Colorado |

World Cup expected to return to Colorado

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado
Paul Conrad/The Aspen TimesVail's Lindsey Vonn pushes past a gate during her first slalom run in December on Aspen Mountain during the 2007 Aspen Winternational.

ASPEN, Colorado ” After all the excitement surrounding the return of a World Cup downhill in December, it’s likely back to tech races and turkey next winter.

According to a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association press release, next year’s Aspen Winternational is expected to move back to its traditional Thanksgiving weekend slot in November and include a women’s slalom and a giant slalom.

The approval of the races on Aspen Mountain is expected next week when the International Ski Federation Congress meets in Cape Town, South Africa. The giant slalom would be held on Nov. 29, followed by the slalom on Nov. 30.

Men’s World Cup races – including the vaunted Birds of Prey downhill – are also expected to return to Beaver Creek on Dec. 4-7.

Calum Clark, the USSA’s vice president of events, said both World Cup sites have a strong tradition of putting on first-class events and are vital to the growth of U.S. skiing.

“We’ll utilize the opportunity of the meetings to promote our great venue partners and our long-term commitment to introducing the next generation to the sport with World Cup stops at Aspen and Beaver Creek and, hopefully, the return of World Championships to the Vail Valley five years from now,” Clark said in the press release.

Aspen’s tradition of world class ski racing dates back to 1946 when the first Roch Cup – a precursor to the World Cup circuit – was held on Aspen Mountain. Under the guidance of skiing legend Dick Durrance, Aspen Mountain was also the site of the 1950 World Alpine Championships.

“Aspen Skiing Company annually reviews its event offerings and we remain enthusiastically committed to hosting World Cup racing this year and for years to come,” said John Rigney, the Skico’s vice president of sales and events, in the same press release. “It is clear that the tradition of ski racing is important to Aspen/Snowmass and our community support for World Cup is unsurpassed in North America.”

The USSA and the Vail Valley Foundation also will present the final bid for the 2013 World Championships to be held at Vail/Beaver Creek resorts. The foundation is the organizing arm for all major events in the valley and was responsible for successfully hosting the 1989 and 1999 World Championships in Vail.

“Hopefully, we’ll have the opportunity to celebrate another World Championships coming to the valley,” said Ceil Folz, the VVF’s president. “Regardless of the outcome of the 2013 vote, the Foundation and Vail Resorts are firmly committed to making Birds of Prey one of the premier men’s World Cup events in the world each and every year.”

Other candidates for the 2013 championships include Schladming, Austria, which hosted the ’82 Worlds; St. Moritz, Switzerland, the 2003 championships host; and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, site of the 1956 Olympic Winter Games.

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