A world-class World Cup weekend | AspenTimes.com

A world-class World Cup weekend

Fast women, raucous crowds, crazy parties with live music and fireworks.Was it Vegas? No, it was Aspen during the Aspen Winternational FIS World Cup ski races.

The best female ski racers in the world came to town for three days of events, a giant slalom Friday followed by slalom races Saturday and Sunday. It wasn’t known until the final racer each day who would take the podium. Finnish phenom Tanja Poutiainen took honors in two of the races with sentimental favorite Janica Kostelic of Croatia winning one slalom.World Cup racing might not have the allure in the United States that it does in Europe, but impressive crowds turned out for the races on Friday and Saturday. More than 18 inches of powder convinced would-be spectators to make turns themselves on Sunday.

The powder also challenged the course crew – which passed with flying colors. Only a Herculean effort by scores of volunteers and Aspen Skiing Co. workers allowed Sunday’s slalom race to be held as scheduled.Racing wasn’t the only thing fans had to cheer about. Aspen threw one of the parties it’s known for Saturday when Big Head Todd & the Monsters played a free outdoor concert in downtown Aspen. And the second the music stopped, the fireworks began.

Both events were held while snow dumped and spirits soared. For a splendid weekend, everything went exactly right in Aspen.

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