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Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of November 21 - 27, 2001


Copper, Aspen have snow for World Cup

Gate races over holiday

The West is hurting for snow, but thereís enough at the Colorado resorts of Aspen and Copper Mountain to stage World Cup technical races over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Mild and dry weather conditions have caused changes, however.

Copper Mountain will host the womenís giant slalom and slalom today, Wednesday and on Thursday, Nov. 22, while Aspen stages the menís GS Saturday and two menís SL events Sunday and Monday.

Both womenís and menís races were originally scheduled for Aspen. But the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association decided last Thursday to split the sites and thus help Aspen prepare its mountain in spite of continued snow shortages.

"We appreciate that Copper Mountain has stepped up to hold the womenís races," said Aspen World Cup chief of race Jimmy Hancock.

He added, "This decision buys us more time for course preparation and the current weather forecast looks promising. Weíre confident the combination of natural snowfall and colder temperatures will allow us to be ready to roll for the menís races on Aspen Mountain Nov. 24-26."

All the top teams and athletes from ski racing nations around the globe are expected for the Aspen and Copper Mountain races. ESPN and ESPN2 will broadcast them.

Both Aspen Mountain and Snowmass are scheduled to open for public skiing and snowboarding on Nov. 22.

In a press release, the U.S. Ski Team said, "The implementation of early-season racing in the U.S. on the FIS World Cup calendar since the late 1980s has allowed the FIS to dramatically expand its schedule.

"U.S. resorts are the only sites in the world capable of producing sufficient early-season snow to hold events in November.

"And while officials have had to make some site or slight date adjustments in the past, resorts in Colorado, Utah and California have a near-perfect record of keeping scheduled events in the United States."


Koznick earns Olympic berth

Kristina Koznick of Burnsville, Mn. earned the first 2002 Olympic Team berth for the U.S. Ski Team by finishing as the top Yank in Saturdayís Nature Valley Alpine Cup slalom at Loveland Ski Area, Colo.

Shooting for the $10,000 first prize that went to the leading American in the race-within-the-race U.S. Ski Team Gold Cup, Koznick ended up finishing third overall in the SL won by Austriaís Karin Koellerer.

Koznick, 26 on Saturday, trains separately from the U.S. Ski Team while conducting her own independent program. She has four World Cup SL victories and four U.S. SL titles.

Sarah Schleper of Vail placed 20th with Stratton Mountain School junior Erika Hogan coming home 22nd and Resi Stiegler of Jackson Hole 28th. Caroline Lalive of Steamboat Springs went down and DNFd.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.