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Licence to speed

ASPEN ” Local racers have a license to speed this weekend on Racer’s Edge at Buttermilk.

The Aspen Speed Series brings super G and downhill racing to the slopes, giving locals and visitors a shot at clocking speeds they can’t reach on Highway 82 ” not legally, anyway.

The super G, which is faster than a giant slalom but has more turns than a downhill, will be held Friday. Downhill training will be held on Saturday, with the Town Downhill competition set Sunday. Competitors from the Roaring Fork Valley and across the state are expected to participate.



Race registration will be held at Bumps restaurant at the base of Buttermilk from

8 to 9:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The cost of entry is $30 for the super G, $60 for the downhill, or $80 for both events. Teams of six can compete in the speed series for $400. Racer lift tickets are available for $42 per day.




Combined points from the super G and downhill will crown the Aspen speed champion. The awards ceremony takes place at Bumps on Sunday from 3:30 to 5 p.m., with free beer, prizes and video replays of the weekend’s competitions. The public is welcome.

On Friday, racers can inspect the super G course from 9 to 11 a.m. Then, race organizers will allow competitors to ski the hill, one at a time, to become accustomed to the speed and terrain. The one-run race starts at noon.

Saturday’s action begins with inspection of the downhill course from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Downhill training runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. will give competitors a chance to practice on the course with speeds that can reach 70 mph. The single-run downhill race begins Sunday at 11 a.m. Long skis (195 cm-plus) and strong skiing skills are recommended. A helmet is required.

Speed racing continues next week with a two-day speed camp by Tache Racing on Feb. 14 and 15. The cost for the training camp is $60. On Feb. 16-18, the Rocky Mountain Masters ” a sanctioning body of the U.S. Ski Association ” will hold two super G and two downhill races on the same Buttermilk course used for the Aspen Speed Series. The event is expected to draw a field of more than 100 competitors from Utah, New Mexico, Colorado and elsewhere, according to the Aspen Skiing Co.

Anyone with strong skiing skills, a helmet and a desire to ski fast is welcome to participate in the Aspen Speed Series, Tache speed camp, and Rocky Mountain Masters races. For more information, call (970) 544-3005 or visit AspenSnowmass.com/racing.


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