FORD RANGER FX4 CHALLENGE TAKES SBX TO THE EXTREME AT SQUAWSquaw Valley to Host Snowboard Cross Race Featuring World’s Best to be Televised by Syndication

The world’s greatest snowboarders are lining up to prove their worth in the Ford Ranger FX4 Challenge to be held at Squaw Valley. The March 29-30 snowboard cross race has attracted 20 of the most elite racers in the world, and is one of the United States’ first SBX events since the U.S. Olympic Committee announced the inclusion of the sport in the 2006 Olympics. With an edgier, more radical course layout, getting to the base of the mountain first will take much more than pure speed as racers compete for their share of over $30,000 in prize money and a 2003 Ford Ranger Two-Year Lease. “Ford is proud to host the Ford Ranger FX4 Challenge,” said Shawn McDermott, Ford Ranger marketing manager. “Snowboard cross athletes are truly ‘Built Ford Tough’ and are representative of Ford’s Tough Truck mentality.”

The event’s roster of 20 invited athletes is staggering and includes three of the top SBX racers in the world – France’s Mickael David and Sylvain Duclos, and Canadian Jasey Jay Anderson. The US Snowboard Team will also post a good turnout with team members Jeff Greenwood, Pete Thorndike, Ryan McDonald, Eric Warren and Ben Fairchild also having been invited. All will need to have the skill, speed and technical ability to attack the mountain and outrun Sweden’s Jonte Grundelius, Germany’s Sven Unger and others, and capture the title and prizes. “Squaw Valley’s terrain is no stranger to world class competition,” explained Eric Brandt, Director of Marketing for Squaw Valley Ski Corp. “We look forward to watching the fierce competition as the best snowboard cross athletes in the business race head to head on our Olympic caliber terrain. It is sure to be an event to remember.”

According to SBX racecourse designer Greg Nevolo, who also designs courses for the X Games, the course will provide enough challenges and excitement for both the athletes and the spectators. Although typical of this style race course, table tops, bank turns, off-cam returns, and large rollers will play a major part in the design. The race will take place on Squaw Valley’s upper mountain adjacent to the Main Line Terrain Park.

Ford Ranger FX4 Challenge Adds ‘Open’ Qualifier Component
To bring even more excitement to the Ford Ranger FX4 Challenge, the series is introducing an ‘open’ qualifying element designed to spark interest throughout the snowboard world. Based on a new qualifying format, any and all SBX racers will have the opportunity to compete in head-to-head racing against top international racers in the Ford race. On Saturday, registered qualifiers get two chances to run the course, and the top 12 will qualify to race in the Ford Ranger FX4 Challenge on Sunday, based their finish times.

Anyone interested in qualifying can register for the Ford Ranger FX4 Challenge at BAR 6 at Squaw Valley Resort on Saturday March 29 from 8:00 – 10:00 am. The cost is $50, and all registrants must complete registration and waiver forms on-site. Photo identification and a helmet are required. “Ford Trucks has always provided opportunities for hard working people,” said McDermott, “that is why the qualifier is so important. It allows everyone to compete against some of the top international athletes.”

2003 FORD RANGER FX4 CHALLENGE
Schedule of Events
Saturday, March 29, 2003
8:00 AMRegistration for Qualifiers/Closes at 10:00 AM
10:00 AMSBX Course Inspection / Practice by Competitors
12:30 PMQualifying Runs / Seeding Runs

Sunday, March 30, 2003
9:00 AMFord Ranger FX4 Interactive Expo Area opens to the public
10:00 AMSBX Course Inspection by Competitors
12:00 PMFord Ranger FX4 Challenge – Preliminary Rounds
1:30 PMFord Ranger FX4 Final Rounds
2:00 PMFord Ranger FX4 Awards Ceremony

Athlete Roster
Anderson, Jasey Jay (CAN)2-time World Cup Champion,, SBX
David, Mickael (FRA)Currently 2nd overall in SBX (FIS)
Duclos, Sylvain (FRA)Currently 5th overall in SBX (FIS)
Fairchild, Ben (USA)U.S. Snowboard Team
Greenwood, Jeff (USA)U.S. Snowboard Team, #3 in nation
Grundelius, Jonte (SWE)3rd place, World Cup, Valle Nevado, Chile
Henderson, Paul (USA)7-time X Games Athlete
Malusa, Simone (ITA)Currently 6th overall in SBX (FIS)
McDonald, Ryan (USA)U.S. Snowboard Team
Pogue, Anton (USA)U.S. Snowboard Team
Sandrini, Francesco (ITA)Currently 8th overall in SBX (FIS)
Thorndike, Pete (USA)U.S. Snowboard Team, #2 in nation
Unger, Sven (GER)2003 European Champion, SBX
Warren, Eric (USA)U.S. Snowboard Team
Wescott, Seth (USA)U.S. Snowboard Team, # 1 in nation