Friday, 3 November 2006
JEEP KING OF THE MOUNTAIN SERIES GEARS UP FOR RECORD-BREAKING 2006-2007 SKIING & SNOWBOARDING WORLD PROFESSIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WITH LAUNCH SET FOR DECEMBER 3 AT SNOWBIRD, UTAH
VAIL, Colo. – November 2, 2006 – When it comes to high expectations, few events hold a candle to the Jeep® King of the Mountain Series (www.jeepsports.com), now in its 14th season as the most prestigious race in professional snow sports. The heralded competition each year brings together a star studded line-up of Olympians, World Champions and National Champions competing for the richest cash payout in the industry on a stage before millions of television viewers on CBS Sports and spectators at top flight resorts nationwide.
On the heels of a 2005-2006 season in which a record seven Jeep King of the Mountain athletes received invitations to represent their countries at the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, the event has put itself in position to not only surpass, but obliterate this total when the title of World Professional Champion goes back up for grabs. The first stop of the six-race tour is scheduled for December 3 at the award-winning Snowbird, Utah ski resort.
While the final roster will be announced in the coming weeks, confirmations have already been received from several of last year’s Olympians, including defending men’s Snowboarding World Professional Champion Graham Watanabe of Park City, Utah, 2005 Snowboarding World Professional Champion Jasey Jay Anderson of Canada, and defending women’s 2006 Snowboarding World Professional Champion Doresia Krings of Austria. Early indications show a line-up for 2006-2007 that will be heavy on World Cup titlists, World Cup Champions, World Champions, National Champions and Winter X Games and Gravity Games gold medalists.
In addition to the roster of pre-qualified invited athletes, the Jeep King of the Mountain Series will continue to incorporate the highly popular National Open Qualifier system at each event, allowing top-notch amateur and professional ski and snowboard racers to earn a spot against the world’s best for a shot at the title of World Professional Champion. Among the racers taking part in qualifiers this past season included Winter Olympians Nate Holland and Marco Sullivan, U.S. Ski Team members Jake Zamansky and TJ Lanning, and U.S. Snowboard Team members Pete Thorndike, Eric Warren and Adam Smith, to name a few. Additional National Open Qualifier registration information can be found at www.jeepsports.com.
The appeal of the World Professional Skiing & Snowboarding Championships comes not only from the caliber of competition, but also the generous payoff and immense visibility available to the athletes. The event boasts the richest prize purse in the sport, topping $450,000 plus an additional $20,000 (U.S.) in bonuses from John Paul Mitchell Systems. Men’s and women’s Skiing and Snowboarding World Professional Champions also receive the keys to a new 2007 Jeep Patriot. Each race from the Jeep King of the Mountain Series is aired on CBS Sports, with additional coverage via national syndication.
Another highlight of the coming season will be the introduction of “Competitor Inspired” racecourse design. At each stop of the 2006-2007 season, one of the series’ competitors will help design and personalize the layout of the event’s unique Y-cross racecourse. The course, which delivers high-speed excitement, requires equal parts instinct, patience and nerve from its challengers. For the first part of the course, two competitors must navigate the dual features section consisting of single and double rollers. Once through this section, the two courses converge into a single course, forming the approximate shape of a Y. The second section features terrain characteristics of skier-cross or snowboard-cross racing, including banked turns, jumps, and tabletops. You must be able to “work” the terrain features in order to generate extra speed, use techniques such as NASCAR-style drafting, and feel comfortable with another racer literally breathing down your neck. At each event, the athletes can expect to encounter a completely distinct terrain based on the layout of the host mountain, requiring the very best skills to achieve the title of World Professional Champion.
The format of the Skiing & Snowboarding World Professional Championships includes six races held over four different event weekends from December 2006 through March 2007. This includes two pure ski events, two pure snowboard events, and two unique events that combine both skiing and snowboarding, making the Jeep King of the Mountain Series the first integrated racing program in North America.
Additional details regarding the 2006-2007 World Professional Skiing & Snowboarding Championships, including complete host sites, CBS Sports broadcast coverage and athlete line-ups will be released in the coming weeks.
The Jeep King of the Mountain was established in 1993. Jeep is the title sponsor for the Jeep King of the Mountain Series. The Professional Skiing & Snowboarding World Championships are the sister competition to summertime’s Jeep King of the Mountain World Professional Mountain Biking Championships. Other marketing partners include for the Jeep King of the Mountain include Columbia Sportswear Company, John Paul Mitchell Systems, Infinity Systems, Mopar, and Ski Press Magazine.