Park City, UT, Nov. 15, 2000--Olympians Erik Schlopy (Park City, UT) and Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO), fresh off back-to-back wins in theopening Super Series races in Colorado, lead U.S. skiers back into World Cup action this week as the Chevy Truck America's Opening racesreturn to snowy Park City Mountain Resort.
Another six inches of snow overnight Wednesday set a perfect stage for the world's best skiers. Women race giant slalom Thursday, the menrun GS Friday, the women come back Saturday with slalom, and Sunday is the wrap-up with men's SL. Total purse for each race is $55,000(100,000 Swiss francs) with almost $28,000 (50,000 Sfr) for the winner.
As the Chevy Truck Super Series opened with World Cup-level slalom fields at Loveland Valley Ski Area, Schlopy and Schleper wonSaturday (he tied with Austrian Kilian Albrecht) and repeated Sunday. After a frustrating start to the season Oct. 28-29 in Soelden, Austria, the two, who posted his and her first World Cup top-10 last season, hope to carry confidence from those victories into Park City, which will be the2002 Olympic GS venue.
"This is great. It gives me good confidence going into Park City," Schleper said. "I don't know what it was in Soelden, but I'm ready. I can feel it."Schlopy echoed his teammate, noting, "It's another big step forward. Things are definitely heading in the right direction."
U.S. Women's Head Coach Marjan Cernigoj and men's SL/GS Coach Jesse Hunt finalized their starting lineups for Park City with the SuperSeries races and time trials. U.S. skiers for the America's Opening races:
Thursday (Nov. 16) - Women's GS: Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO), Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO), Julia Mancuso (Tahoe City, CA),Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME) and Kristina Koznick (Burnsville, MN)
Friday (Nov. 17) - Men's GS: Erik Schlopy (Park City), Chip Knight (New Canaan, CT), Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), Daron Rahlves (SugarBowl, CA), Thomas Vonn (Newburgh, NY), Dane Spencer (Boise, ID), Jake Fiala (Breckenridge, CO), and Casey Puckett (Aspen, CO)
Saturday (Nov. 18) - Women's Slalom: Schleper, Lalive, Mancuso, Koznick, Lindsey C. Kildow (Vail, CO), and Tasha Nelson (Mound, MN)
Sunday (Nov. 19) - Men's Slalom: Schlopy, Knight, Miller, Tom Rothrock (Cashmere, WA), Sacha Gros (Vail, CO), and Brad Hogan (Holmes,NY)
The races represent the World Cup debut of two promising young skiers, Kildow - who turned 16 less than a month ago (Oct. 18) and was fifthSunday in the Super Series slalom - and Rothrock, 22 and runnerup a year ago to Schlopy in Nor Am slalom standings.