TELLURIDE, CO (Dec. 10) – Rollers and bank turns await the world’s best snowboardcross athletes as Telluride Resort in Colorado prepares to host the Visa U.S. Snowboardcross Cup for the second straight year Dec. 15-18. On tap for the slew of Olympic athletes, including two-time gold medalist Seth Wescott (Sugarloaf, ME), will be men’s and women’s snowboardcross, parallel giant slalom and team SBX.
The SBX team arrived to Telluride in early December to get a head start on their training for the World Cup event and, according to U.S. Snowboarding Head Coach Peter Foley, the team couldn’t be more excited to be back.
“We love it here. We feel really at home and think it’s great,” Foley said. “The training course is built and it looks awesome. They’ve blown a ton of snow to make it great and we’re super stoked. This is the third year we’ve come here for a camp and the second for a race.”
The competition kicks off with the Visa U. S. Snowboardcross Cup qualifications and the competition will be heated as a majority of the SBX Olympic field reunites on North American snow for the first time since the Vancouver Olympics.
Ross Powers (Londonderry, VT) is looking to up the ante on the course, which is once again being designed by Olympic course builder Jeff Ihaksi.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to Telluride. I’m excited to get together with the team and be on the podium again,” Powers said. “Last year the course was awesome. It’s technical, but fast with good jumps.”
Also heating up the men’s field will be Wescott, five-peat X Games gold medalist Nate Holland (Squaw Valley, CA), X Games silver medalist Graham Watanabe (Sun Valley, ID) and World Championship bronze medalist Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, MI).
On the women’s course will be an all Olympic U.S. field with Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton, VT), Callan Chythlook-Sifsof (Girdwood, AK) and Faye Gulini (Salt Lake City).
“I’m excited for the event. They did a really great job last year and it’s fun to do the team event, so that will be exciting, too,” Jacobellis said. “The course seems to be coming along really well and we’ve been getting snow, so it’s slowly happening”
Adding to the World Cup lineup will be parallel giant slalom, which hits the slope on Thursday with Tyler Jewell (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Vic Wild (White Salmon, WA) leading the way for U.S. riders.
Wild will be looking to continue the hot streak in the start of his season when he gets on the hill in Telluride. Wild snapped up two domestic podium spots already this season on the Race to the Cup tour, and will step up the edge for the World Cup.
Rounding things out for the weekend will be the excitement of team SBX which takes two athletes and teams them up for a heated race to the finish. Team member one starts the race, and once he or she crosses the finish line a sensor is triggered that opens the start gate for teammate two. First team at the bottom of the course wins the competition, which will be making its inaugural appearance at World Championships later this season.
The action in Telluride kicks off Wednesday, Dec. 15, and is not to be missed.
2011 U.S. Snowboardcross Cup Schedule
Dec. 15, 2010 – Snowboardcross qualifications
Dec. 16, 2010 – Parallel Giant Slalom
Dec. 17, 2010 – Visa U.S. Snowboardcross Cup
Dec. 18, 2010 – Team Snowboardcross