PARK CITY, Utah (Oct. 10) à'Ë† The 2001 Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard GrandPrix schedule was announced Tuesday, with the tour making stops at OkemoMt., Vt., Breckenridge, Colo., Mammoth Mt., Calif. and Sunday River,Maine. All of the events will be televised nationally.
All four sites have held Grand Prix events in the past. Okemo Mt. hostedlast season’s Grand Prix Finals, which double as the X-nix U.S.Snowboard Championships. Sunday River will have that opportunity thisseason. Each site will feature several disciplines, with the Yahoo! BigAir exhibition series being held at Okemo Mt., Breckenridge and Mammoth.
The Grand Prix, entering its fifth season, has quickly become one of themost respected snowboard tours in the U.S. Each contest draws a solidfield of riders as over $400,000 is up for grabs throughout the seasonand the overall winners take home a new Chevy Truck when all is said anddone. All of the events will be televised by NBC, CBS, ESPN and ESPN2.
Also adding excitement to this season’s Grand Prix is the fact that allfour venues will feature superpipes. The superpipe has much bigger andmore forgiving transitions than a regular-sized pipe. Riders prefer thesuperpipe as it allows them to go bigger and throw down sicker tricksthan they are able to do in a smaller structure. Last season, Mammothand Breckenridge had superpipes in place during the Grand Prix. U.S.Team rider Rob Kingwill (Jackson, WY) won both.
All of the Grand Prix superpipes and snowboardcross courses will bedesigned and built by Oregon’s Pat Malendoski, one of the bestbuilders/groomers in the business.
Last year’s overall winners were Canadian alpiner Jasey Jay Anderson andhalfpipe ruler Shannon Dunn (Encinitas, CA). The battle for the titles,and new Chevy S-10 trucks, came down to the wire as Kingwill and SondraVan Ert (Ketchum, ID) each had a chance to win it all. Kinger enteredthe final day of competition at Okemo Mt. in first place. Andersonneeded to finish at least second in the snowboardcross to overtake him,and he did just that.
Dunn, who had won three halfpipe events, was the clear favorite to winher second straight title and truck. However, someone figured out thatVan Ert could pass her in the standings if she could win thesnowboardcross, an event she had not competed in all season. Van Ertcruised through the qualifying rounds, but fell short in the finals,allowing Dunn to breathe again.
The Yahoo! Big Air exhibition events will showcase some of the bestriders in snowboarding. Competitors at Okemo Mt. will get the chance toride in a slopestyle, the first time this event has been run on theGrand Prix tour. Last season’s big air at Breckenridge drew a crowd ofthousands into the night air. The huddled masses watched as JasonBorgstede (Eagle River, AK) and Kim Bohnsack (Truckee, CA) won under thelights. Breckenridge returns with a big air this season as well. Mammothwill once again build a huge one-hitter, an event won by Travis Parker(Sandy, UT) and Tara Dakides (Laguna Niguel, CA) last year.
For Grand Prix entry forms, please visit www.ussnowboard.com in thecoming weeks.
2000-2001 CHEVY TRUCK U.S. SNOWBOARD GRAND PRIX
Dec. 15-17 Okemo Mt., VT GS/HP/slopestyle (Yahoo! exhibition)
Jan. 5-7 Breckenridge, CO PGS/HP/big air (Yahoo! exhibition)
Feb. 8-11 Mammoth Mt., CA HP/SBX/quarterpipe (Yahoo! exhibition)
2001 X-NIX U.S. SNOWBOARD CHAMPIONSHIPS/GRAND PRIX FINALS
Mar. 22-25 Sunday River, ME SL/PGS/SBX/HP