The World Pro Ski Tour’s (WPST) second race of the season takes place this Thursday, January 2, in Steamboat, Colorado, with the Moose Barrows’ Trophy. Not only does Thursday’s race honor former Pro racer and Steamboat resident Moose Barrows, but will also serve as the WPST debut race for double Olympic Gold Medalist and American ski racing legend Ted Ligety.
Ligety was announced as WPST partner last fall and the Park City, Utah, native will be competing in WPST events this winter in between his World Cup racing.
“This race marks a new era of World Pro Ski Tour racing,” says Jon Franklin, CEO of the WPST. “We are excited to see the skills that Ted Ligety brings to the dual format and we expect all the racers to fight even harder on the hill as they face such a decorated Olympic and World Champion athlete.”
Thursday’s racing action will take place under the lights on Steamboat’s iconic Howelsen Hill, bringing the excitement and festival atmosphere of a night race to the WPST.
“My motivation for doing [the Pro Tour] is to stay sharp between World Cup races as well as trying to be a part of this next wave of ski racing and an alternative to what’s been traditionally out there,” says Ligety. “Anything that can give traditional FIS ski racing some competition and help invigorate and bring new blood is a good thing. I’m psyched to be a part of that charge of guys that are skiing both World Cup and coming back and doing Pro Tour races.”
The races at Howelsen Hill this week also provide support to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club youth athletes, who will have the opportunity to be mentored by the Pro racers as they compete for scholarships in the Alpine Bank WPST Junior Challenge.
The WPST season opener took place in Vail, Colorado, last month with Rob Cone emerging victorious over stiff competition from the likes of Canada’s Phil Brown and the United States’ Nolan Kasper, both of which are multiple-time Olympians and former WPST winners. Needless to say, Ligety will have his work cut out for him if he is to come out on top in his WPST debut.
Thursday’s race will be broadcast live on FloSports, streamed on the WPST website, and is also aired on CBS Sports Network at a later date. Additionally, the WPST is producing a six-part docuseries called “Life Between the Gates,” which will air on Outside TV.
Thursday’s events will also include a festival-style finish area with a live set by DJ Trizz, giveaways, food, drinks, hospitality and more, all at the base of Howelsen Hill. Festivities begin during the morning’s Pro Qualifiers and extend into the evening, featuring a Tito’s Après party at Aurum Food and Wine from 3:00-5:00pm and a Tito’s After Dark party at Carl’s Tavern 8:30-10:30pm.
WPST Moose Barrows’ Trophy Thursday Schedule
- 9:30am Pro Qualifiers
- 1:30pm Alpine Bank World Pro Ski Tour Junior Challenge
- 5:00pm WPST Moose Barrows’ Trophy Race