WORLD CUP RETURNS TO U.S. WITH MT. BACHELOR SNOWBOARD CLASSIC

MT. BACHELOR, Ore. (Feb. 25) — Following a three-year hiatus, the World Cup tour returns to the U.S. with the Mt. Bachelor Snowboard Classic powered by Chevrolet. The Mar. 5-7 event will feature the world’s best snowboard cross and parallel giant slalom riders along with a solid field of big air athletes in the Paul Mitchell Progression Session.

Snowboard cross and PGS will air Wednesday, Mar. 24 at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN with big air set for Thursday, April 8 at 2:30 p.m. ET.

While the World Cup may be returning to the U.S. for the first time since Park City, Utah, hosted an event in 2001, Mt. Bachelor is no stranger to hosting the World Cup competition. The Pacific Northwest mountain hosted a World Cup giant slalom and halfpipe competition in 1998 with the U.S. taking seven podium spots.

“It’s an honor for us to bring the World Cup back to the U.S. and it goes to show what Mt. Bachelor is capable of, said Mt. Bachelor Communications Manager Chris Johnston. “We’ve hosted the World Cup before and we’ve hosted the Grand Prix — our freeriding is legendary and Mt. Bachelor is excited to continue our strong snowboarding reputation with the snowboard classic.

Leading the U.S. charge into Bachelor is a red-hot Michelle Gorgone (Sudbury, MA), who already has five top-10 finishes on the season. For the men, look to former Bend local turned Olympic bronze medalist Chris Klug (Aspen, CO) and current Oregon resident Adam Smith (Tangent, OR) at the top of the men’s roster.

Mt. Bachelor will also host snowboard cross, the newest winter Olympic sport, providing a look at the potential 2006 Olympic picture. Headlining the U.S. roster is World Championship silver medalist Seth Wescott (Farmington, ME) and X Games and Mammoth Grand Prix winner Lindsey Jacobellis (Bondville, VT). Also looking to gain some World Cup hardware are newly crowned World Junior Champion Joanie Anderson (Lake Tahoe, CA) and Mammoth Grand Prix champ Nate Holland (Olympic Valley, CA).

“We’re going to give national media and U.S. spectators a sneak preview of the Olympic games, added Johnston. “In 2006, it’s likely that you’ll see many of the same riders who will be going to battle on our slopes, but best part is that all three events finish at the base of the West Village providing for amazing spectator visibility and access.

Something that big air spectators are certain to enjoy as an international field of pros rock the Mt. Bachelor kicker with a barrage of tricks. Look for Colorado rider Brent Meyer (Wheaton, IL), who’s been a staple in the Grand Prix exhibition events, to show up with a loaded bag of smooth spins and off axis rotations.

Traditionally on the World Cup tour, the host country has additional starting spots in each event and for each sex on top of their regular quota. Therefore, along with the full American World Cup team, U.S. Snowboarding will send a pool of fresh talent, who qualified through the Race to the Cup series, totaling 37 riders set for home turf advantage.

“U.S. Snowboarding is thrilled to bring the World Cup back to Mt. Bachelor, said USSA Vice President-Events Annette Royle. “The U.S. has a strong tradition of producing the best riders in the world and it’s going to be exciting to see them showcase their talent at Mt.Bachelor.

Schedule:
Mar. 5 — PGS Qualification 9:30 a.m. PT, Thunderbird; PGS Finals 1:00 p.m. PT, Thunderbird
Mar. 6 — SBX Trials 10:30 a.m. PT, West Boundary; SBX Finals 1:00 p.m. PT, West Boundary
Mar. 7 — Big Air Qualification 9:30 a.m. PT, Midway; Big Air Finals 1:00 p.m. PT, Midway