MT. BACHELOR, OR (Feb. 5) -- Making its third appearance at Mt. Bachelor, the Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix returns to the High Cascades Feb. 7-9. The ’03 event will feature the hottest riders in the world competing in parallel giant slalom and superpipe during the final stop of the Grand Prix series. The fan favorite Yahoo! Sports Big Air and Style Exhibition will also be turning up the volume Saturday night as the best freestyle athletes go off under the lights.
“Mt. Bachelor is truly for the athletes, said USSA event manager Abbi Nyberg. “There’s a reason why the Grand Prix is making a third and second straight trip to Bachelor -- they supply excellent venues that are fun for both athletes and the fans.
After two events, young gun Hannah Teter (Belmont, VT), 16, leads the women’s standings with two wins in superpipe. But Gretchen Bleiler (Snowmass Village, CO) is currently as hot as it gets with double duces on the Grand Prix circuit and three straight wins in January (Triple Crown, Continental Cup), including the X Games.
On the men’s side, look for veteran Rob Kingwill (Jackson Hole, WY) to continue his Grand Prix podium streak after going 2-3 respectively in the first two events. Also making his presence known is Steven Fisher (St. Louis Park, MN), fresh off a third at the FIS World Championships. Fisher has finished just off the podium at each Grand Prix, but has a Triple Crown podium under his belt as he rolls into Mt. Bachelor. Ross Powers (South Londonderry, VT), the ’02 Olympic gold medalist is also scheduled to compete.
Looking ahead to the alpine events, ’02 Olympic bronze medalist Chris Klug (Aspen, CO) is always a threat in the PGS along with Pete Thorndike (Meredith, NH), who won the Park City Grand Prix opener. Riding strong for the women is Alaska’s own Rosey Fletcher (Girdwood, AK) after barely missing the podium at the world champs with a fourth in parallel slalom. But it’s never safe to rule out two-time Olympian and Park City winner Lisa Kosglow (Boulder, CO) or Stacia Hookom (Edwards, CO) who has grabbed a couple of World Cup top three’s on the year.
“The athletes are what make this event world class, said Mt. Bachelor Communications Manager Chris Johnston. “Bringing the Grand Prix back to Mt. Bachelor solidifies our commitment to hosting the best athletes in the world and providing excellent facilities for this huge spectator event.
In recent year’s Mt. Bachelor has made a huge strides toward building and maintaining outstanding snowboarding venues for both competition and recreation. The sites for the superpipe competition and the Yahoo! Sports Big Air and Style Exhibition are located just steps from the main lodge creating a super spectator friendly venue for both events and a short lift ride allows up close access to the PGS course as riders zip past at 40 plus miles per hour.
“Whether you’re on a board or not, you can get right in the middle of all the action, adds Johnston. “If it’s the superpipe you want to see, anyone can stand on the deck and watch as these athletes go big, plus the PGS course is easily accessible by chair lift so you can get right up to the fences. Even the venue for the Yahoo! Sports Big Air and Style show is just above the main lodge, which makes it perfect for a floodlit event.
The Mt. Bachelor stop of the Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix will be broadcast on NBC at 2 p.m. EST on Sunday Feb. 23 with the Yahoo! Sports Big Air and Style exhibition televised on ESPN on Wednesday Feb. 19 at 3:00 EST.