Steamboat Springs Olympic medalist Chris Klug may have won the opening snowboarding NorAm race of the season last week in Copper Mountain, but that didn't stop several former and current Steamboat Springs riders from contending.
Klug won the men's giant slalom race, which was held Nov. 15 at Copper Mountain. The race didn't follow the World Cup's normal dual format because of poor snow conditions. Instead, racers took two runs down the course, and their combined times determined the winners.
"It was totally different from what you normally see," Steamboat coach Thedo Remmelink said. "It was fun to watch, and made for exciting racing."
Klug finished the race with a combined time of 1 minute, 37.71 seconds. Canadian Jasey Jay Anderson was second and Adam Smith placed third.
Former Winter Sports Club rider Tyler Jewell finished in fourth place with a combined time of 1:40.61, and fellow Steamboat rider Justin Reiter was fifth at 1:41.20. Current Winter Sports Club riders Zachary Kay was sixth, Ben Fairchild was seventh and Vic Wild was ninth. Josh Wylie was 10th, Kristin Deon, a Canadian rider currently training with the Winter Sports Club, placed 13th.
The women's race was won by Caroline Calve, a Canadian rider who also trained in Steamboat Springs leading up to the 2006 Olympics in Italy. She was followed by Brooke Shaw in second and Lynn Ott in third. Steamboat's Erica Mueller fell in the race, but teammates Madeline Wiencke and Ashley Nice finished eighth and 11th, respectively. Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, a Winter Sports Club rider who is splitting her time between boardercross and Alpine, placed 14th.
Anderson stole the show in the men's slalom on Nov. 16. He topped Smith, who finished second, and Klug in third. Josh Wylie was sixth, and Wild was ninth. Fellow Steamboat riders Michael Trapp placed 10th, Darren Ratcliffe was 12th and Fairchild placed 13th.
Alexa Loo of Canada won the women's race. Calve was second, and Mueller was the top American finisher in third place.
The U.S. Team, which included Jewell, Reiter, Wylie and Mueller will leave for Europe on Dec. 2. The other Steamboat riders will take place in regional events closer to Steamboat Springs.
Remmelink said he was thrilled to see so many current and former Steamboat riders taking top spots at the NorAm event. He said it will make the next Race to the Cup NorAm, which will be held in Steamboat Jan. 4 and 5, that much more exciting.