Ingemar Stenmark of Sweden was
the big name in Aspen for the 1976 World
Cup. He easily captured first place in
the men’s slalom and cinched the overall
men’s World Cup title with that victory.
Stenmark was noted as “faster and smoother”
than anyone else on the course as he won both
runs of the slalom. Stenmark’s closest competitor,
American Phil Mahre, was over
1.5 seconds out. The slalom was held on Aspen
Marie Morerod of Switzerland won the
women’s giant slalom, and with it the World
Cup women’s GS championship. But Germany’s
Rosi Mittermaier had wrapped
up the women’s overall title the week before
the Aspen race. Danielle Debernard
of France finished second in both GS and downhill
to finish first in the women’s combined
standings in Aspen.
Klammer, World Cup downhill champion
and Olympic gold medalist, signed autographs and
shook hands at the bottom of the Aspen Mountain
downhill course after his victory there. He won
on skis that had been chilled in a refrigerator,
then flown by helicopter to the top of Aspen Mountain
to ensure proper wax consistency.
winner of the Roch Cup, Klammer thought the trophy
was his for keeps. He brought it home to Austria,
and it took the Aspen Historical Society a year
to retrieve it.
Austrian and Swiss teams captured four of the
top 10 places in the downhill. America’s
top finishers were Eric Wilson
and Greg Jones, who placed 21st
and 22nd. Aspen racer Andy Mill,
after suffering a week-long bout with the flu
and two falls in practice — one that re-injured
a knee — placed a disappointing 44th in
a field of 45, ten seconds away from Klammer.