TIGNES, France — Former FIS world champion Jeff Greenwood (Granby,Conn.) sizzled through his second run Friday to win the openingmen’s giant slalom of the FIS Grundig World Cup schedule for theseason in which snowboarding becomes an official Olympic sport. Aday earlier, Rosey Fletcher (Girdwood, Alaska) led U.S. riders byfinishing fifth in the women’s opener.
Greenwood, who captured the GS gold medal at the inauguralFIS World Championships in 1996, was second in the first runbehind Nicholas Conte of France. However, Greenwood overtook himon the second run to win with a combined time of 2:06.96. Conte,GS World Cup champion for the International Snowboard Federation,finished second with FIS world champion Thomas Prugger of Italythird.
Chris Klug (Aspen, Colo.) was third in the morning run but hadproblems on his second ride and dropped to seventh place withJeff Archibald (Salt Lake City) 11th in the field of 121 riders.The GS was run in bright sunshine on machine-made snow below theTignes Glacier; the men’s halfpipe Saturday and the women’s HPSunday are set for the glacier.
“Jeff’s first run was good, especially on the bottom pitch.And his second run was really clean, although he went down on hischest briefly at the top of the final pitch,” U.S. Coach PeterFoley said. “He really rode the pitch fast both times. Conte rodethe top well on his second run but he kinda backed off on thepitch.”
Coach Rob Roy was pleased with Klug’s run, noting, “This ishis second season back after taking a year off with an ankleinjury in 1996. He rode the flats really well — he was one ofthe fastest — but he was a little conservative on the pitch inhis second … Still, he knows he’s close and in this kind ofcompetitive field, it’s an outstanding start for his season.”
The men’s GS followed the women’s giant slalom Thursday, wonby reigning World Cup champion Karine Ruby of France. The women’sfield attracted 87 riders, an indication of the huge fieldsexpected for the first half of the season as riders from the ISFtour seek to do well in events organized by the International SkiFederation (FIS), which has the Olympic franchise forsnowboarding.
Two American riders had top-10 results in the women’s openeras Fletcher was fifth with Lisa Kosglow (Boise, Idaho) ninth.Leslee Olson (Bend, Ore.) was 11th.