The FIS Men's World Cup Ski Racing tour came to Colorado for 3 scheduled races at Beaver Creek on the challenging Birds of Prey course this past weekend. Aspen Spin went outside the bubble and the traffic circle to enjoy the festivities at The Beav.
We're gonna say it up front WE LOVE THE BEAVER...(except for the parking situation). It's a quaint little pre-fabricated village at the base of an extremely skiable mountain that has plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. Considering the early season conditions and that much of the mountain was closed off for the race course, the skiing was not the top attraction. The race on Birds of Prey was center stage.
Check our sick pix. Click: THE BEAVER
We rolled the 100 miles from Aspen and arrived just in time to see the USA's BODE MILLER "attack, attack, attack" the Beav to win the 20011 Birds of Prey Downhill. Second place went to hot Swiss skier Beat Fuez and third to Austrian Klaus Kroell. Beaver Creek was buzzing after Bode's BIG win. The VIP area was rowdier than ever, Korbel Champaign was a sponsor ...so the corks were poppin'. Bode, started in 12th position and held on as 55 more racers failed to beat his near perfect run. Aspen's own Wiley Maple skied fast and finished a very respectable 51st. From the U.S. Ski Team, Ted Ligity finished at 22, Marco Sullivan 28th and Erik Fisher 29th to round out the top 30.
The podium scene was on fire. Lots of people embracing Bode who was smiling pretty bright, despite his generally unemotional demeaner. After the awards, we got a head's up about Bode's collaboration with Artist Malcolm Farley and their joint event at C. Anthony Gallery in Beaver Creek. As you can imagine, Bode was in high demand, the $10,000 paintings were selling briskly. The place was packed. Billy Kidd was there, Johnny Mosley was there. Everybody was there. Bode Miller is a very gracious winner. He was humble, friendly, patient and articulate with tons of fans. AspenSpin's observation, Bode expects to win. He knows if he puts it all together, no one can beat him. When it happens...no big deal. While Bode usually plays it close to the vest in public...you could see the quiet satisfaction of victory in his expression and demeanor.
We did a drop-bye at the Snow Mag / Sentient Jet / Portillio party and then hit Bode's Turtle Ridge Foundation (TRF) fundraising event event. TRF is Bode and his family's No Profit that supports adaptive and youth sports in New Hampshire (fah dam sha) and other communities throughout the U.S. Bode was surrounded by his loved one's, family and friends including his 3 year old daughter who only had eyes for daddy. Learn more about TRF, Click: TURTLE RIDGE FOUNDATION
Things got a little out of control after that, and apparently AspenSpin made the podium at a late night after party. Suffice to say it was a BIG night in Beaver Creek.
Day 2 saw the Swiss skiers dominate the Super G. First-time world cup winner Sandro Viletta bested the field and teammate Beat Feuz scored his second podium finish in as many days. Second place went to fan favorite Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway. Svindal, an Olympic Gold Medalist and 4 Time World Champion seems to be especially popular with the ladies. Maybe its because he's 6' 3" and sculpted like a Greek God...and a very nice guy. Not to be a spoiler...ladies, he's off the market, it's no secret he's paired up with USA World Cupper Julia Mancuso. Svindal was in the "hot seat" for most of the day until Viletta blasted out of the 30th slot to take the crown. The Swiss Bliss continued at the finish as Viletta could not stop grinning.
A little cocktail bash with USSA Alumni sponsored by NEVE (super plush knits, made in Colorado) topped off day 2. Then it was back to the home turf in Aspen.
Day 3 resulted in a Giant Slalom win for Marcel Hirscher of Austria followed by Ted Ligety USA and Fritz Dupfer of Germany. 3 more races (Dec 6-8) were added to Birds of Prey for next week due to lack of snow in Europe. Both the ladies and the men will be getting after it in Beaver Creek.
It's a short drive to Beaver Creek--only 100 miles from Aspen, and the speed limit is 75 mph for a good portion of that distance. If you're available...make the trip, see the fastest, most powerful ski racers in the world; Men and Women. It's a blast at Beaver Creek. The Vail Valley Foundation puts on a great show. For all the info, schedules and results Click: BIRDs of PREY
To See our SICK PIX, Click THE BEAVER