Third World Cup race coming to Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Third World Cup race coming to Aspen

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

Aspen will pick up a third women's World Cup race for the annual Aspen Winternational, scheduled for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

A second slalom race was added to the Aspen race schedule, a makeup race for a World Cup event at Levi, Finland, that was canceled because of warm temperatures and lack of snow.

Aspen reaps the benefit of the rescheduled race, giving area ski racing fans three days of World Cup action with the best women's ski racers in the world descending on Aspen Mountain.

With the additional race, the women's giant slalom now will be held on Friday, Nov. 27, at Aspen Mountain.

Slalom races will be held on Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 28-29), also on Aspen Mountain.

"We are honored to be able to support the racers and our partners at the U.S. Ski Team and FIS by hosting this additional race," said John Rigney, vice president of sales and events for the Aspen Skiing Co. "This is a testament to the crews prepping our storied race venue, and everyone involved with the race, including our volunteers."

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Rigney said the additional World Cup race adds momentum to Aspen's early opening, with Aspen Mountain set to open Saturday and Sunday for an early weekend of alpine skiing.

Aspen Mountain and Snowmass are scheduled to open for the season next Saturday, Nov. 21.

According to the Aspen Skiing Co., recent cold temperatures have made for excellent snowmaking conditions, bolstering conditions for the World Cup races on the Lift 1A side of the mountain.

Aspen Mountain also received nearly 18 inches of new snow in the last two weeks.

The field for the women's World Cup races in Aspen will be led this year by the Americans.

Defending World Cup champion Anna Fenninger of Austria will miss the entire season after a training crash when she suffered a serious knee injury. She underwent surgery recently.

Aspen favorite Tina Maze of Slovenia, the overall World Cup champion in 2013, is sitting out the race season to prepare for the following season and future world championships and Olympics.

Maze is a two-time Olympic gold medalist.

Another top World Cup racer, Nicole Hosp of Austria, retired after last season. She won last year's World Cup slalom in Aspen.

The U.S. racers will be led by Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn, a pair of Vail superstars.

Shiffrin is back after winning her third World Cup slalom title last year.

And she opened the new season with a second-place finish at the World Cup giant slalom in Soelden, Austria.

Vonn, back from injury and the most successful female ski racer of all time, is scheduled to race in the giant slalom in Aspen on Friday, Nov. 27.

Vonn has 67 World Cup wins.

Giant slalom racing will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 27, followed by the second run at 1 p.m.

The first slalom race Saturday, Nov. 28, will start at 10:15 a.m. with the second run at 1:15 p.m.

Sunday's slalom will start at 10 a.m. Sunday's second run will start at 1 p.m.

Spectator viewing will be available at the base of Life 1A.

dstrode@aspentimes.com