Return of the Roch Cup
Dear Editor:A hearty thank you to the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club staff and volunteers and the Aspen Skiing Co., including Aspen Mountain Manager Peter King, snow cat drivers, ski patrol and lift attendants, for hosting the 2010 Roch Cup/U.S. National Alpine Championships Downhill and Nor Am speed races on Aspen Mountain. Aspen Mountain’s historic Ruthie’s race course is one of only a few venues in the country appropriate for hosting this level of competition, and as reported by Walt Evans, U.S. Ski/Snowboard Association alpine competition services director, it “was the best national championship downhill that USSA has had in 25 years.” Participants in the event included nine athletes that came directly to Aspen from the Vancouver Olympics, 17 athletes from Aspen and all but a handful of the finest alpine speed athletes from the United States and Canada. In addition to being a high-quality competition, the Aspen races provided a great opportunity for younger athletes to rub shoulders with the nation’s best and experience one of the most challenging of courses. The racing on Aspen Mountain enhanced and inspired athletes’ pursuit of excellence and will contribute to the success of U.S. alpine athletes. For those of us who grew up watching, dreaming about and/or competing in the Roch Cup, it was fantastic to have the Roch Cup awarded for a downhill race for the first time since 1995. I hope we can return to the annual awarding of this prestigious and time-honored award.Thank you also to Frias Properties, The Mountain Chalet, Tyrolean Lodge, other lodging properties and sponsors, including Surefoot, the Residence Inn, Aspen Orthopaedic Associates, Silk, U.S. Ski/Snowboard Association and the city of Aspen for helping host more than 200 athletes, coaches, service technicians, families and officials for nine days of competition.Lastly, thank you for the abundant snowfall. As any longtime skier knows, the best offering to the snow gods is the scheduling of a downhill race, and again the snow gods took the offering. The year’s biggest series of snow storms made for a lot more work for the race crew, but we are all happy for the needed snow! Mike MapleAspen
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The state transportation department’s $2.6 million plan to rebuild the roundabout west of Aspen next summer and fall appears to be moving along on schedule based on two votes in the Upper Roaring Fork Valley last week.