Klug wins national title

Aspen Times Staff Report

Aspen snowboarder Chris Klug claimed the 2004 U.S. Snowboarding Combined Alpine National Championship title on Sunday in Breckenridge.

Klug, who won the parallel giant slalom on Saturday at the U.S. Snowboarding Alpine Finals on Saturday, sealed the combined calculation victory with a fourth-place finish in the slalom yesterday.

“Last race of the season ” what a way to finish,” Klug said.

“It was a hard day for me [Sunday]. My back was so seized after yesterday’s PGS, I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. I had to get help buckling my boots and closing my binding bail in the start gate. At one point, I thought I was going to have to call it off.

“I was happy to be able to get it done under these circumstances,” he added.

Klug said Saturday’s PGS, in 60-degree weather, was “more like wake boarding than snowboarding.

“It was spring firm and a little inconsistent, which made it challenging, but it was fun,” said Klug, who finished up the season with a string of solid finishes including a third in PGS at the World Cup Finals. “I’m just really stoked to have finished the season riding so strong and part of me wishes that the season was a couple of months longer, but I’ll carry this momentum into next year.

“I’m headed home to Aspen to get ready for my snowboard camp [April 2-4 at Buttermilk] and do some relaxing and freeriding until the lifts shut down.”