AJ GINNIS VICTORIOUS OVER CHODOUNSKY AT SNOWMASS
SNOWMASS, Colorado — AJ Ginnis of Waitsfield, Vermont, a member of the US Ski Team and 2017 US and Canadian National Slalom champion, won the grand prize of $10,000 today in the Rocky Mountain Classic of the World Pro Ski Tour at Snowmass, Colorado edging David Chodounsky of Crested Butte, Colorado.
Under sunny skies and racing on the dual side-by-side course featuring jumps and ruts, the 32 professional ski racers were cheered on by spectators in the race arena. The racers admitted that the conditions were challenging because the ruts got deeper as the day went on.
Ginnis said, “It’s great being at Snowmass with a highly competitive field of racers, and obviously winning the overall prize feels tremendous. Great skiing by Dave Chodounsky and all the other guys. I can’t wait for Sunday River to do it all over again.”
Ginnis won because he stuck with his line and didn’t get intimidated by who was racing next to him. Off the jumps he tried to have some direction and negotiate with the ruts.
“We had a tremendous event at Snowmass today,” said Ed Rogers, president of the World Pro Ski Tour. “We look forward to continuing the momentum at the Visit Maine Pro Ski Championships at Sunday River, March 30 and 31.”
NOLAN KASPER DEFEATS MORGAN MEGARRY TO WIN WHITE MOUNTAIN DUAL CHALLENGE AT WATERVILLE VALLEY
Nolan Kasper (L) of the US Ski Team and 2018 US Olympic Team overcame a tough day of qualifying and a loss in run 1 of the semifinals to win the White Mountain Dual Challenge at Waterville Valley over runner-up Morgan Megarry (R) of the Canadian Ski Team. On Friday, Kasper qualified as the 15th seed which gave him adifficult route to the finals. The most tense moment came in the first run of the semifinals when 3rd ranked American slalom skier Robby Kelley defeated Kasper by .36 seconds. With a .62 second victory in run 2, three time Olympian Kasper was able to overcome the deficit and advance to take on Megarry in the final.
“It was great to see such a big crowd of enthusiastic supporters today at Waterville Valley for this event. Like all the racers here today, I am thrilled to see that the World Pro Ski Tour has come back after being dormant for so long,” said Kasper.
The legendary Tommy’s World Cup run at Waterville Valley proved to be a challenging venue for the top racers from the U.S., Canada, Finland, Sweden, and France. The race track was icy and slick despite a foot of new snow falling on Wednesday before the event and 4-6 inches early morning Saturday. Two 5-foot jumps (above photo- Michael Ankeny (L) and Michael Boardman in qualifying) and other small terrain caused many top athletes to fall or miss gates.
“It was great to see the Waterville stop of the WPST take place on a much more challenging hill than most other dual races. The steeper pitch, bigger jumps, and awesome surface was the perfect stage for some world-class battles,” said Morgan Megarry.
AJ Ginnis, the second place finisher from the 2017 Pro Ski Challenge at Sunday River qualified in the second position on Friday but tweaked his back and was forced to withdraw from the finals on Saturday. Ginnis will still be a favorite in the remaining events along with Michael Ankeny (above left and below), who finished third in both the Sunday River and Waterville Valley events.
“It was nice getting a feel for the cattle door style start gates in Waterville Valley. At the beginning of the event I was really struggling with the timing, but after some adjustments started to feel really quick out of the gate,” Ankeny said. “I’m itching to get to Snowmass for the next event and climb up further past that 3rd place step.”
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Photo Credits: Gary Paul Norris Photography.
WORLD PRO SKI TOUR TO HOST THREE EVENT SCHEDULE AIRING ON CBS SPORTS NETWORK
The World Pro Ski Tour will host three events in the 2018 winter season at Waterville Valley, NH, Snowmass, CO, and Sunday River, ME. These events will be one of the only opportunities to witness a field of Olympians, national champions and NCAA champions in the US as they face off side-by-side in dual slalom action. The White Mountain Dual Challenge at Waterville Valley will be held February 8-10, the Rocky Mountain Pro Ski Classic at Snowmass will be March 8-10, and the Visit Maine Pro Ski Championships at Sunday River will conclude the World Pro Ski Tour schedule March 29-31.
CBS Sports Network will again serve as the television partner for the World Pro Ski Tour.
“We are thrilled to expand the World Pro Ski Tour schedule to three events this winter to create more opportunity for ski racers from across the globe. The American ski community is craving more events to see their idols go head to head in dual slalom, the most exciting alpine race format that will also make its debut in the South Korea Olympics,” said Ed Rogers, President of the World Pro Ski Tour. “Our official partners Maine Office of Tourism, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Greenhead Lobster are making it possible to grow from a Sunday River event to Waterville Valley and Aspen Snowmass.”
In March of 2017, the Pro Ski Challenge at Sunday River brought top American and Canadian athletes to Maine for the first pro tour dual race in the U.S. in almost twenty years. Top ranked American slalom skier and four-time national champion David Chodounsky defeated 2017 U.S. and Canadian national slalom champion AJ Ginnis to take the $10,000 grand prize at Sunday River. The White Mountain Dual Challenge at Waterville Valley, NH will kick off the 2018 season with top athletes like 3-time Olympian Nolan Kasper, 2015 North American Cup Overall Champion Michael Ankeny and 2nd ranked American slalom skier Robby Kelley. Top North American racers will face off with international challengers like 2013 World University Games and NCAA Slalom champion Joonas Rasanen from Finland in three events to win the 2018 World Pro Ski Tour Overall Title.
“Sunday River is thrilled to welcome back the World Pro Ski Tour,” Dana Bullen, resort president and general manager for Sunday River, says. “Last year’s event brought back to life exciting, world-class competition in one of the most spectator friendly formats imaginable, and Sunday River is excited to be able to offer this great event to our guests once again.”
Waterville Valley Resort has been host to dozens of Alpine World Cups throughout the last 50 years, most recently in 1991. “The excitement of ski racing has always been a part of Waterville Valley Resort’s heritage and now to be in a period of significant growth and to be bringing back an event like the World Pro Ski Tour is really exciting,” said Tim Smith, President and General Manager of the New Hampshire ski area. “Personally, I am thrilled to be hosting this event here at Waterville Valley Resort because I grew up watching it with my dad and thinking it was so cool.”
“We are excited to welcome the World Pro Ski Tour to Snowmass, continuing the celebration of Snowmass’s 50th anniversary season. Says John Rigney, Senior Vice President, Aspen Skiing Company. “This event offers a fun format for spectators and athletes alike.”
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