Big day in Kitzbuehel
Should be a fine day to go make some turns. After a couple of light dustings in the past several days, the skies have proved that they can produce at least a few flakes.
Today should be breezy and mostly cloudy with a slight chance of snow. Winds are to be out of the northwest at 15 to 25 mph and then shifting to the southwest. Highs are to be in the upper 20s to upper 30s.
Tonight is expected to be windy and mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Tuesday is to be mostly cloudy with highs in the mid 20s to mid 30s and another 30 percent chance of snow.
The big news in the ski world this weekend is coming out of Kitzbuehel, Austria, where American skier Daron Rahlves won the Hahnenkamm downhill. He’s the first American to win the famed race since Buddy Werner did it in 1959. Werner’s name now graces the mountain where the Steamboat ski area operates.
Rahlves, who has a reputation for getting pumped before a big race, edged out Swiss Didier Cuche by five-hundreths of a second to take the top spot on the podium. Kjetil Andre Aamodt of Norway was third.
Bode Miller, still the current overall World Cup leader, finished 8th.
For European and American skiers, winning the Hahnenkamm is like winning the Master’s golf tournament. Rahlves’ name will now be painted on the side of a gondola car in Kitzbuehel and his name will be in the company of some of the great ski racers of all time.
Bad weather forced this race to start lower down the course, which meant that some of the steeper parts of the course, including the Mausfalle and Steilhang sections, were missed by all the racers. This cold lead to some Europeans dismissing the validity of Rahlves’ win, but a race is a race is a race, as they would no doubt insist if a European had won the event.
Rahlves’ victory is also the first by a North American racer since Canadian Todd Brooker won the Hahnenkamm in 1983.
“Every downhiller dreams of winning the Hahnenkamm,” Rahlves told reporters in the finish area. “It’s the sign of a great champion, that’s what I did today.”
The California downhiller has won four other World Cup downhills, including one on Dec. 29 in Bormio, Italy.
“Kitzbuehel’s been kinda like the dream race for all of us growing up in the United States – it’s what racing’s all about, the sheer challenge, the recognition it gets, so many people, not just inside skiing but outside skiing, too, know it,” Rahlves said.
Saturday was a good day for American ski racing. So why not make today a good day for Aspen skiing and riding and get outside?
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