Bib draw in Snowmass kicks off weekend of World Cup racing in Aspen – The Aspen Times

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On U.S. snow not even a week prior, River Radamus secured his first career World Cup podium by finishing third in a giant slalom at Palisades Tahoe. Now, the Edwards ski racer hopes to feed off those same vibes when the “White Circus” makes its way back to Aspen beginning Friday.
“The snow is familiar, the accommodations are familiar, but more importantly, the crowd is cheering for Americans,” he said during Thursday’s bib draw ceremony at Snowmass Base Village. “So, make sure you come out tomorrow, and give us a big ‘ole cheer, and we’ll throw down for you.”
World Cup ski racing is making its return to Aspen Mountain for a second consecutive winter. Last year, it was the men’s speed skiers who competed, and this year, it will be the men’s technical specialists. The schedule includes a giant slalom both Friday and Saturday and then a concluding slalom on Sunday. Friday’s GS is a replacement for the season-opening race in Soelden that had to be canceled.
According to FIS, Friday’s World Cup GS will only be the third for the men in Aspen in 30 years. Frederik Nyberg won a race in March 1994, and Marcel Hirscher won in March 2017 at the World Cup Finals.
“This is an exciting time for the village. We get to have the best ski racers in the world in Snowmass Village. That is an honor,” Snowmass Mayor Bill Madsen said on Thursday. “The World Cup and Snowmass (Ski Area) are kind of kindred spirits because they were both born in the same year: 1967.”
Thursday’s bib draw, hosted by Aspen big mountain skier and announcer Chris Davenport, officially kicked off the weekend’s festivities. With members of the Norwegian national team signing autographs beforehand, the draw from Snowmass Base Village determined the order of the top racers in the field.
Switzerland’s Loic Meillard, who was the last to come on stage, will wear bib No. 1 and be the first on course for Friday’s GS. Croatia’s Filip Zubcic is bib No. 2, followed by Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen in bib No. 3, and Switzerland’s Marco Odermatt in bib No. 4.
“I’ve been here so many times in Aspen. I really like it,” said Kristoffersen, who gave a shout out to Cody Oates and the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club for helping with his annual preseason training time at Aspen Highlands. “I think the hill is super nice. I hope the weather on Sunday is not too bad. Always liked it here. Training at Highlands is also perfect. Looking forward to tomorrow.”
The first run of Friday’s GS is scheduled for a 10 a.m. start. The second run is scheduled for 1 p.m. Viewing is free from the finish area grandstands, located at the base of Shadow Mountain and Lift 1A.
Any race predictions can begin and end with Odermatt, at least in the GS. The Swiss star is on the sort of run that would even make Mikaela Shiffrin jealous, as he’s won each of the past 10 giant slaloms, including all seven this season. He’s only the third skier, male or female, to ever record 10 straight wins in a specific discipline. The other two are Ingemar Stenmark and Annemarie Moser-Proll.
“I don’t know. I just hope to keep it (going),” Odermatt said when asked about his historic winter. “Amazing season so far. Everything is working well. I hope to keep going like this.”
He has already clinched the overall World Cup title for the third consecutive season. He remains in position to possibly win four crystal globes this winter.
Aspen Skiing Co. CEO Geoff Buchheister gives a few remarks during the World Cup bib draw on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at Snowmass Base Village.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times
Aspen Skiing Co. CEO Geoff Buchheister gives a few remarks during the World Cup bib draw on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at Snowmass Base Village.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times
Snowmass Village Mayor Bill Madsen talks to the crowd during the World Cup bib draw ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at Snowmass Base Village.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times
Big mountain skier and announcer Chris Davenport talks to the crowd during the World Cup bib draw ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at Snowmass Base Village.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times
Fredrik Moeller, top center, and other members of the Norwegian ski team sign autographs prior to the bib draw ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at Snowmass Base Village.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times
A young fan awaits her autograph from a member of the Norwegian ski team on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at Snowmass Base Village.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times
Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen talks to the crowd during the World Cup bib draw ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at Snowmass Base Village.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times
Switzerland’s Loïc Meillard, right, talks to host Chris Davenport during the World Cup bib draw ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at Snowmass Base Village.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times
Edwards ski racer River Radamus talks to the crowd during the World Cup bib draw ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at Snowmass Base Village.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times
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Last year’s World Cup in Aspen marked the unofficial start for Geoff Buchheister as the new CEO of Aspen Skiing Co., after he was brought on to replace Mike Kaplan. Roughly a year later and Buchheister jumped on stage Thursday to say a few words of thanks.
“On behalf of Aspen Skiing Company, I want to thank you all for taking an interest in Alpine ski racing, for coming out and supporting the athletes,” he said. “What I would say is hosting the Audi FIS World Cup is a community event. It takes a community effort, so I want to thank not only Bill and the town of Snowmass Village, but our entire community, which I think is the best ski racing community in the world, in the best ski town in the world.”
acolbert@aspentimes.com






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