Puckett wins ‘King of the Mountain’ race
Aspen Valley Ski/Snowboard Club coach Casey Puckett won Sunday’s first race of the Jeep King of the Mountain Professional Skiing and Snowboarding World Championships in Crested Butte.Puckett, a Crested Butte native, four-time Olympian and 2004 Jeep King of the World Professional Champion, out-dueled Tomas Kraus of the Czech Republic for the men’s skiing title. Puckett earned a spot in the finals after head-to-head wins with Cody Smith of Spokane, Wash., and Tyler Shepherd of Boulder. France’s Enak Gavaggio finished third.Adding to the intrigue of the races was the new Y-shaped race course, combining the technical skill of giant slalom with skiercross. Racers began on seperate courses, similar to a parallel giant slalom race. Midway through, racers met at an intersection and from there to the finish, raced side-by-side while negotiating banked turns and double rollers.Puckett’s championship run will be broadcast on CBS sports on Jan. 1, 2006, from 3-4 p.m.The Jeep King of the Mountain Series continues on Jan. 7-8 at the Sunshine Village Resort in Canada.
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