The first World Pro Ski Tour stop this season began the way that the final race of the last season ended: with a Robert Cone win. Cone took the Pepi Gramshammer Cup title and the $10,000 prize. Named for iconic Austrian ski racer Pepi Gramshammer, who passed away in August, the dual-format ski race marked the first World Pro Ski Tour race in Vail in 20 years.
The exciting dual-race began with an epic crash by American Thomas Woolson in the Round of 16, in the same fashion he began the last season. Woolson spun out after aggressively attacking a gate and continued to spin through sponsor banners. Fortunately, Woolson was not seriously injured.
World Pro Ski Tour champion of 2019 Phil Brown was upset in the Round of 8 by Alex Leever (USA), who skied with the precision and aggression of an athlete hungry for a win. Leever was ultimately eliminated by Cone and landed in third place after beating rookie World Pro Ski Tour newcomer Simon Breitfuss-Kammerlander, an Austrian-born ski racer who now races for Bolivia.
“Most of the guys didn’t know me when I got here,” said Breitfuss-Kammerlander. “You never know about this type of skiing; the fastest guys can still get eliminated in the first round, so it’s a lot about strategy.”\