|Ophelie David Leads Opening Ski Cross|
|TELLURIDE, Colo. (Dec. 15) - The 2007-08 ski cross season kicked off Saturday in Telluride The first World Cup in North America will be held as a part of the Feb. 1-2 Visa Freestyle International at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, UT.|
In the women's final, France's reigning World Cup champion Ophelie David took the win over Austria's Karin Huttary. Brett Buckles (Steamboat Springs, CO) was the top American in sixth.
"As the first event of the year it was a good competition for all the athletes to get their season kicked off," said new U.S. Ski Cross Coach Tyler Shepherd. "The course itself was not too demanding, but [course builder] Corley Howard did an outstanding job designing the course with low early season snow."
Shepherd used the event as an opportunity to get a look at new talent in the wide-open field for the sport. "The event was a sneak-peak for me to scout out some of the other U.S. athletes that I had not been familiar with," said Shepherd. "We have some young talent that is eager to progress in ski cross."
It was an especially important tune-up for U.S. skiers who will be heading to Europe for the first World Cup events in January. "I'm confident, as are the athletes, about going into the first World Cups next month in Europe and Deer Valley. For the women, Brett Buckles is skiing very aggressively. They will be fun to watch in France."
With the Olympics just two years away, the FIS World Cup will take on additional significance when it opens in January. Shepherd will take a group of U.S. athletes to the opening races in France. The World Cup begins Jan. 12 in Les Contamines Montjoie, France, then heads to Flain, France Jan. 16. The athletes will skip the Jan. 20 event in Kreischberg, Austria to return for the X Games in Aspen, CO.
A strong U.S. team is expected to take part in the Visa Freestyle International World Cup set for Saturday, Feb. 2 on Deer Valley's Solid Muldoon run.
JEEP KING OF THE MOUNTAIN
Telluride, CO - Dec. 15, 2007
1. Ophelie David, France
2. Karin Huttary, Austria
3. Magdalena Jonsson, Sweden
4. Anik Demers Wild, Canada
Click for complete men's results
Click for complete women's results (note Anik Demers Wild is CAN not USA)
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images