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U.S. racers chase World Cup podium in Aspen

Mikaela Shiffrin rips some GS on the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational race hill during training. Photo courtesy Jeremy Swanson, Aspen/Snowmass.

Lindsey Vonn still a question mark for this weekend’s gate races

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The World Cup makes its annual early season stops in Colorado the next few weeks, beginning with a pair of women’s races in Aspen this weekend, followed by Beaver Creek races in early December.

The races won’t be hampered by a lack of early season snow thanks to prodigious, targeted snowmaking, but the TV cameras will have to zoom in tight on the race courses to avoid showing the snowless brown hills all around. Ironically, the early season races in Colorado were slotted into the World Cup schedule years ago because of concerns about snow conditions at other venues, but this is the second year in a row that Colorado is seeing an early season snow drought. Continue reading

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Colorado: Ski racers start training at Copper Mountain

Upper Mountain hosting local teams; full-length speed training center slated to open Oct. 31, weather permitting

Ski team luminaries and resort execs prepare for the opening of the U.S. Ski Team Speed Training Center at Copper Mountain in November, 2011.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — After an intense early season snowmaking session, Copper is already hosting race training on the upper mountain, while U.S. Ski Team racers are looking forward to the scheduled Oct. 31 opening of the speed training center on terrain served by the Super Bee chair.

The training venue, which opened last year, has been touted as a game-changer for the U.S. team, enabling racers to make full-length training runs before key early season World Cup races at Vail and Aspen. The speed center opening is weather dependent.

To help get skiers psyched for the season, Copper is holding an online lottery that will enable a handful of passholders to win VIP access to the speed center, along with a chance to ski or ride with ski team racers like Lindsey Vonn, Bode Miller and Julia Mancuso. Continue reading

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