Canadian Jasey Jay Anderson (Burton) and a deserving Stacia Hookom (Oxygen) won the parallel giant slalom today during the second stop of the Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix at Breckenridge, Colorado.
Under postcard-blue skies, a field of North America’s top Alpine riders had it out on Peak Nine’s Sundown trail¿an 850 vertical-foot sheet of perfect Colorado corduroy. Following Jasey on the men’s side were Jeff Greenwood of the U.S. and French Canadian Jerome Sylvestre. Melissa Barclay and Hookom’s U.S. teammate Lynn Ott rounded out the women’s podium.
The parallel format (the same format that will be used in the 2002 Olympics) pits riders against each other on side-by-side, red and blue courses. Racers take one run on each of the courses, and times are measured by a differential¿the first rider to cross the finish line starts the clock and the second rider stops it.
In the finals, Jasey went down on his first run against Jeff Greenwood. “I was getting too comfortable out there … getting a little lazy,” he admitted. “I needed to get back on it and get in the right frame of mind.” The second run of the finals was a different, more typical-for-Jasey effort. “I had to have the best run ever,” he added after the race, “and it was. It was perfect.”
Jasey’s last run was a focused attack from the get-go¿he pumped and found speed on every part of the course. But had Greenwood not made a pair of errors (“I got too excited,” he said) Jasey’s one-second-plus deficit would have been more difficult to make up.
For Hookom, eight hard-fought races down the 35-second course landed her on top of the podium for the first time in her Grand Prix career. Known for consistency, Hookom shined in the both mentally- and physically-grueling parallel format. “My philosophy all day long was to race as hard as I could every single run,” said the Vail local and seven-year U.S. Team member.
Today’s Grand Prix awarded FIS World Cup points which riders will use to win the quota spots allowed for next year’s Olympic team. The points also qualify racers for FIS World Cup events and the FIS World Championships to be held during late January in Italy.
The second leg of the Grand Prix begins tomorrow with halfpipe qualifying rounds.Click Here for GS Video Clip in the Superior Quicktime Format.