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World's best in Telluride for Jeep KOM Ski Tour debut


When the Jeep King of the Mountain Series, one of the sport’s most prestigious events over the past 15 years, joined with The Ski Tour, which in its first year seamlessly blended racing and music to celebrate the mountain culture, the goal was to create an event powerful enough to bridge the gap between the Winter Olympics and the X Games.
    As the newly formed Jeep King of the Mountain Ski Tour and Basecamp Music Experience descends on Telluride this weekend one thing is clear – the world’s top athletes are coming along for the ride.
WHEN THE JEEP King of the Mountain Series, one of the sport’s most prestigious events over the past 15 years, joined with The Ski Tour, which in its first year seamlessly blended racing and music to celebrate the mountain culture, the goal was to create an event powerful enough to bridge the gap between the Winter Olympics and the X Games.
    As the newly formed Jeep King of the Mountain Ski Tour and Basecamp Music Experience prepares to descend on Telluride this weekend one thing is clear – the world’s top athletes are coming along for the ride. And while the prize money is greater than ever before, the crown too has become even more significant as more than 100 of the world’s elite racers have signed up to compete in the IOC-formatted skicross and snowboardcross competition.
    The field includes the No. 1 ranked men’s and women’s ski cross and snowboard cross racers in the FIS World Cup standings, joined by other Olympians, X Games medal winners and World and National Champions. The challengers will be competing for the largest payout in the industry, topping $250,000 plus additional cash bonuses.
    In men’s skiing, the world’s top three racers will contend for the crown, including No. 1 ranked Audun Groenvold of Norway, No. 2 ranked Tomas Kraus of the Czech Republic, and No. 3 ranked Hiroomi Takizawa of Japan. Others to watch include Canada’s Stanley Hayer, the winner of last year’s Ski Tour; former U.S. Ski Teamer Jake Fiala, a 2007 X Games silver medalist and former Olympian, U.S. national champion and FIS titlist; Daron Rahlves, the most accomplished speed event racer in U.S. history; and Casey Puckett, the 2007 X Games gold medalist, 2005 and 2006 Jeep King of the Mountain Champion and four-time Olympian.
    Leading the pack in women’s skiing is none other than France’s Ophelie David, who is ranked No. 1 in the world, won gold at the 2007 X Games and is the defending Jeep King of the Mountain champion. Competing for the top spot will be No. 2 ranked Magdalena Jonsson of Sweden, ranked No. 2 in the world and a six-time World Cup titlist; Meryll Boulangeat of France, ranked No. 3 in the world and a bronze medalist at the 2007 X Games; and X Games silver medalist Valentine Scuotto of France.
    In men’s snowboarding, Canada’s Drew Nielson, the No. 1 ranked racer in the world and defending Jeep King of the Mountain Champion, leads the charge. The women’s snowboarding field is led by three standouts that are currently tied for first place in the FIS World Cup standings, including Lindsey Jacobellis, the 2006 Olympic silver medalist, 2007 X Games silver medalist and defending Jeep King of the Mountain champion; Dominique Maltais of Canada, the 2006 Olympic bronze medalist; and Maelle Ricker of Canada, a bronze medalist at the 2007 X Games.
    Complementing the action on the snow will be the Basecamp Music Experience, which brings together live music, fashion shows, film festivals, environmental expos and street parties to reflect all elements of mountain culture. The athletes and race fans alike will be entertained by top acts such as Macy Gray, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Swollen Members and Dirtie Blonde, to name a few. Full concert and event details, including ticket information, can be found online at www.jeepsports.com.
    After launching in Telluride, the Jeep King of the Mountain Ski Tour and Basecamp Music Experience heads to Squaw Valley, Calif., on Feb. 8-10 before the grand finale on March 14-16 in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Coverage of the action from Telluride will be televised to a national broadcast audience on Dec. 29, 2007, and Jan. 12, 2008, on CBS Sports.

Telluride Competition Schedule
Saturday, Dec. 15

Skicross finals, noon-2 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 16
Snowboardcross finals, noon-2 p.m.

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