MOUNT SNOW, Vermont ??вЂќ Following two action packed races in Telluride, Colo., and Snowbird, Utah, highlighted by open qualifier upsets and successful finishes by top American professionals, the Jeep King of the Mountain Series will bring the world’s finest ski and snowboard racers and a record prize purse to Vermont’s Mount Snow Resort on January 22-23 for the next leg of the Skiing and Snowboarding World Championships.
Now in its 12th season, the Jeep King of the Mountain Series has earned a reputation as one of the most prestigious events in professional snow sports based on an unmatched line-up of highly decorated athletes competing on a unique Y-shaped racecourse for the richest prize purse in the industry. In addition to earning King of the Mountain honors for their country, the competitors battle for a share of $450,000 (U.S.) in prize money, $20,000 (U.S.) in bonuses from John Paul Mitchell Systems and the keys to a pair of new Jeep Liberty Diesels. The four-event series is shown on CBS Sports and through nationally syndicated television to a national audience for a total of six hours of coverage between December 2004 and March 2005.
The action at Mount Snow will begin with a men’s National Open Qualifier on Saturday, January 22, at 10:30 a.m. Any ski or snowboard racer wishing to participate in the open qualifier may visit www.jeepsports.com or e-mail Ted Martin at [email]email@example.com[/email] for more details. Unlike past years, where qualifiers were required to register as a team, this year’s format has been altered to allow participants to register and race individually. The top two qualifying skiers and snowboarders will then be paired to take part in the Skiing and Snowboarding World Championships, set for 11 a.m. on Sunday, January 23. In addition to moving the open qualifier to an exclusively individual format, the prize money structure has changed dramatically to reward the individual versus the team as in past years. The racers will be competing for a combined $75,000 prize purse.
Heading into the races at Mount Snow, 2003-2004 Jeep King of the Mountain Series champion Casey Puckett of Aspen, Colo., and open qualifier Tyler Shepherd of St. Paul, Minn., had claimed individual ski titles. On the snowboard side, Jasey Jay Anderson of Team Canada, winner of 11 World Cup titles in the past three years, and open qualifier Jeff Greenwood of Hood River, Ore., a member of the U.S. Snowboard Team, had captured individual titles.
Formerly a pure downhill series, the Jeep King of the Mountain Series has established a reputation for drawing the most elite skiers and snowboarders of the sport, and carries with it a rich history of past Olympic champions, such as Jean-Luc Cretier (’98 Nagano), Tommy Moe (’94 Lillehammer), Josef Polig (’92 Albertville), Pirmin Zurbriggen (’88 Calgary), Bill Johnson (’84 Sarajevo), Leonard Stock (’80 Lake Placid), and Franz Klammer (’76 Innsbruck). The 2004-05 Series will maintain that legacy, with a line-up of professionals that have produced Olympic medals, world championship titles, national titles and numerous world cup victories between them.
Six teams of skiers and snowboarders representing the United States, Austria, Canada, France, Germany and Switzerland will take part in the competition. Rounding out the eight-team field will be four racers (two skiers and two snowboarders) advancing through a National Open Qualifier for top-notch amateur and professional racers.
One of the highlights of the Jeep King of the Mountain Series is an innovative racecourse known as “The Y.” The unique course design delivers high-speed excitement in a format that combines the technical skill of Parallel Giant Slalom with the cutting edge drama of skiercross and snowboardcross. The Y has proved ideal for skiers and snowboarders alike, and the Jeep King of the Mountain Series is the only series to combine the racing elements of these two sports into one event. Racers begin on separate courses and must maneuver Parallel Giant Slalom turns. Midway through the course, racers meet at the Y, the point where the two parallel courses merge into one. There, skiers and snowboarders must race side-by-side on a single course while negotiating banked turns and single and double rollers leading to an exciting finish.
Following the Skiing and Snowboarding World Championships at Mount Snow Resort the Jeep King of the Mountain Series will head to Heavenly Lake Tahoe in California for the grand finale on February 5-6.
The Jeep?В® King of the Mountain was established in 1994. Jeep?В® is the title sponsor for the Jeep King of the Mountain Series. Other marketing partners for this season include: Atomic, Columbia Sportswear Company, Edge Advanced shave gel, John Paul Mitchell Systems, Mopar, Sirius Satellite Radio and Ski Magazine. For more information, visit www.jeepsports.com.