The 2009 Alpine NorAm Cup, a steppingstone tour for aspiring World Cup racers, began today at Loveland Ski Area in Colorado with men’s slalom races on Dec. 2 & 3 and women’s slalom races Dec. 4 & 5.
Originally scheduled to start on Monday, the races had to be pushed back one day because a holiday storm covered Loveland Ski Area with 58 inches of snow in 72 hours.
“The NorAm races are a right of passage for young racers and enable us to track the progress of those coming up the pipeline,” said U.S. Ski Team Alpine Director Jesse Hunt. “This tour is important in both getting athletes experience and gaining World Cup starts. Last year we had good success and won nine out of 12 NorAm titles.”
Athletes winning discipline titles, as well as the runner-up, receive World Cup starts for the following season.
“Every athlete that’s been to the Olympics or who races on the World Cup competed at the NorAm level at one time including Olympic champions Ted Ligety and Julia Mancuso who started their careers racing the circuit and both actually also won NorAm titles when they were younger.”
“Loveland is proud to be hosting the kickoff of the 2009 Alpine NorAm Cup,” said Rob Goodell, Director of Business Operations at Loveland Ski Area. ”We were forced to postpone the races because of the huge storm over the weekend, but we will get things started on Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Loveland Valley and invite everyone to come out to see some of the best young ski racers in the world.”
The first run is at 10 each day with the second run starting at 1 p.m. Spectators are invited to watch the race and will be able to access the race course via Chair 3 at Loveland Valley. Walking spectators will also be able to access the course via a walkway from the base area.
Loveland Ski Area is located 53 miles west of Denver, or 12 miles east of Silverthorne at Exit 216 on Interstate 70.