Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Steamboat Springs A field of international Alpine snowboarders stepped into the spotlight at the 2007 FIS Snowboard World Championships in Arosa, Switzerland, on Tuesday, including several Steamboat Springs riders.
Topping the list of local competitors was 2006 Olympian Tyler Jewell, who raced to sixth place in the men's parallel giant slalom finals. Jewell advanced to the round of 16 before getting knocked out by Austria's Siegfried Grabner, who went on to finish fourth.
"I can look myself in the mirror after today and be perfectly OK with what I see," Jewell said. "If I wanted to win against 'Siggy,' I had to take a tough line at the bottom, and it didn't work out. I ended up going into a turn a little too straight and couldn't get back. If I'd made the line, I would have been on the podium, but that's what I needed to do to win, and it didn't pay off."
Slovenia's Rok Flander won the men's race by beating Olympic gold medalist Philipp Schoch of Switzerland in the finals. Schoch's teammate Heinz Inniger finished third.
Steamboat's Justin Reiter was 11th, 2002 Olympic Bronze medalist Chris Klug was 21st and Steamboat's Josh Wylie was 33rd.
On the women's side, Rus-
sia's Ekaterina Tudigescheva topped Germany's Amelie Kober for the win. American Stacia Hookom, who plans to retire after the World Championships, placed fifth. Former Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club rider and Lowell Whiteman School graduate Michelle Gorgone placed 13th. Steamboat's Erica Mueller was 32nd.
The Alpine portion of the 2007 World Championships wraps up today with the parallel slalom event. Event favorites include Adam Smith, who placed fourth in slalom at the 2005 World Championships, and Steamboat's Reiter, who finished second in two Race to the Cup slalom events held in the U.S. this winter.
Gorgone and Mueller will be the top American riders in today's event along with Hookom, who will be competing in her final race.
Closer to home, Winter Sports Club rider Vik Wild has been setting the pace in NorAm races in Canada. Wild won parallel slalom and parallel giant slalom races at the Mont Blanc resort in Canada last weekend.