BRECKENRIDGE, CO (Jan. 3) – The Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix rolls into the Rocky Mountains Jan. 10-11 for the first major halfpipe competition of the new year with over 100 athletes expected to compete in the second stop on the Grand Prix tour. Also on tap is the crowd favorite Yahoo! Big Air and Style Exhibition on Jan. 11, under the floodlights and featuring two tabletops separated by a gap with a rail on the second hit.
In its fourth year of hosting a Grand Prix event, Breckenridge has become known for hosting premier halfpipe events and with this season’s acquisition of a new Zaugg Pipe Monster, the resort will be boasting a superpipe with 18-plus-foot walls for the nation’s elite to rock.
“We’re putting together the best pipe venue that anyone has ever seen,” said Breckenridge Marketing Manager Chris Knapp. “The Zaugg Pipe Monster is the latest in state-of-the-art equipment and we’ll also have Olympic pipe builder Pat Malendoski on hand to make sure that the pipe is huge. He’s got a great eye for the pipe and has garnered the respect of the riders, so it’s perfect that he’s here create our Grand Prix pipe.”
Gaining steam from the pre-Christmas Grand Prix at Park City Mountain Resort in Utah, look for 15-year-old Hannah Teter (Belmont, VT) to be riding high after snagging her first senior win just two weeks after taking fourth in the first event of the Vans Triple Crown – coincidentally, held in the same Breckenridge superpipe as the upcoming Grand Prix contest.
“The win in Park City was huge for me and Breck should be just as fun,” said Teter. “I’m going to work on some new tricks for this event because I really want to win the Chevy Truck. If the pipe is as good as it was in Park City, I should have no problem having a good time.”
Joining Teter will be top U.S. riders Gretchen Bleiler (Snowmass Village, CO) and Tricia Byrnes (Stratton Mountain, CT), who showed everybody why they’re on top after finishing 2-3 in Park City.
On the men’s side, Rob Kingwill (Jackson Hole, WY) is finding new life on the podium after taking second in the Park City Grand Prix just two weeks after a third-place result in the Breckenridge leg of the Triple Crown. Kingwill, who won the Breckenridge event in ’00, is riding well and should feel right at home on the Zaugg superpipe.
However, it’s never safe to rule out Breckenridge local J.J. Thomas (Golden, CO), who finished fifth in Park City and took third just one year ago in Breck en route to a silver-medal performance at the ’02 Olympic Games. Also expected to compete is the ever-present threat of Olympic champion Ross Powers (South Londonderry, VT).
Wrapping up the weekend is the Yahoo! Big Air and Style exhibition for this year’s second installment of showcasing the best talent in the country with a jam style format. The event will kick off at 7:30 p.m. under the lights on an athlete-influenced setup of two tabletops.
“The Yahoo! exhibition is always a crowd favorite,” added Knapp. “It’s amazing to see thousands of people come out for the nighttime show -there’s a party atmosphere to it and the riders get pumped off the energy of the crowd to put up great performances.”
The Breckenridge stop of the Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix will be broadcast on NBC at 6 p.m. EST on Saturday Jan. 18 with the Yahoo! Big Air and Style exhibition televised on ESPN on Wednesday Jan. 29 at 3:30 EST.