NEWRY, Maine ??вЂќ The next stop in the 13th Annual Jeep?В® King of the Mountain Series takes place at Sunday River from Feb. 3-4, as the only eastern event of the four race series. The Sunday River event is unique in that it will serve as host to the only exclusive snowboarding competition in the 2005-2006 Professional Skiing & Snowboarding World Championships, with 16 of the world’s most accomplished athletes battling head-to-head for a share of the richest prize purse in the sport and the title of World Professional Champion.
The most recent event was held in Sunshine Village, Alberta and took place on Jan. 8. Skier Tomas Kraus of the Czech Republic placed first in the final men’s standings, and skier Ophelie David of France walked away as the leader in the women’s class.
The Sunday River event will begin with a National Open Qualifier on Friday, Feb. 3, allowing amateur and professional snowboard racers to earn a spot against the world’s best for a shot at the title of World Professional Champion. National Open Qualifier registration information can be found at www.jeepsports.com. Then on Saturday, Feb. 4, the resort will host the men’s and women’s snowboard portion of the Professional Skiing & Snowboarding World Championships. More information on lodging for the weekend of the event is available by calling (800) 543-2SKI or online at www.sundayriver.com.
“We are thrilled to bring the most prestigious event in professional snow sports to a resort with the substantial amenities and impressive reputation of Sunday River,” said David Potovsky, Vice President of Events for Eclipse Television & Sports Marketing.
The Jeep King of the Mountain Series uses an innovative racecourse format known as “The Y”, which combines the high-speed parallel giant slalom with the drama of boardercross and skiercross. Racers this weekend will begin on separate courses maneuvering the giant slalom turns, and then meet at the intersection of the Y to compete side-by-side while negotiating the banked turns and rollers of the boardercross. The Jeep King of the Mountain Series is the only racing series to combine these two sports into one event.
The Jeep King of the Mountain Series runs from December through February. The snowboard event at Sunday River will be broadcast on CBS, Feb. 19 at 2:30 p.m. and through a special partnership with Ski Press Magazine, the website www.skipresstv.com will allow race fans to follow their favorite ski and snowboard athletes during each race of the 2005-2006 Professional Skiing &Snowboarding Championships. The site will also carry archived footage and highlights from some of the best races in the events’ 13 year history.
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 2005-2006 Series will maintain that legacy, with a line-up that has produced Olympic medals, world championship titles, national titles and numerous world cup victories between them.