Governor John Hickenlooper and others who are eager to put together a Colorado bid for a future Winter Olympics Games must be making a case study out of our state's worldliness this month. Since Thanksgiving, Colorado has hosted the Aspen Winternational FIS Women's World Cup at Aspen Mountain and the Audi Birds of Prey FIS Men's World Cup at Beaver Creek, plus an additional round of Women's World Cup racing at Beaver Creek after "unseasonably warm weather" at Val d'Isere in France forced a venue change, as well as the U.S. Grand Prix snowboard/freeski slopestyle and superpipe competitions at Copper Mountain last weekend/ And tomorrow, the Winter Dew Tour's Nike Open begins in Breckenridge.
But first we have even more World Cup action starting with qualification rounds today in Telluride, which is hosting the USSA FIS Snowboardcross World Cup event for the third year in a row.
"An American has never won a World Cup in Telluride," says Nate Holland, who set his sights high in a recent statement. "It would be rad to be the first. But many of my teammates are riding pretty well right now, so a U.S. sweep is what I'm looking for."
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Qualification rounds for the Snowboardcross race (aka SBX, the rough-and-tumble every-rider-for-themselves melee that has become a hit at both the Olympics and the X Games) run today from 9:55 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Paired Giant Slalom qualifications and finals will be held on Thursday starting at 9 a.m.
For the big show, head to Telluride for the SBX finals at noon on Friday and the SBX team finals at noon on Saturday, followed by a blowout after-party in Mountain Village with Telluride funksters The Great Funktier. Can't make it to Telluride this week? That's your loss, but NBC will be airing its coverage from the Snowboardcross finals at 5 p.m. on New Year's Eve.