Cup racing returned to Aspen after a three-year
hiatus with a men’s super G and slalom.
The super G course was slightly rerouted to take
advantage of early-season snowfall and provide
more viewing excitement while increasing racer
safety. Aspen Skiing Company
also made an $800,000 investment
in snowmaking enhancements to ensure prime course
conditions in November. An early-season storm
laid down a sufficient base of snow and the course
preparation became an all-out effort that produced
what race organizers dubbed a “bad-ass”
course. Racers called it one of the most challenging
super G courses in the world.
Austrian team took most of the honors by filling
the winner’s podium with the first-, second-
and third-place finishers in the super G, and
taking first place in the slalom. Stephan
Eberharter, Hermann Maier,
and Christian Mayer took the
first three positions in super G, and teammate
Thomas Stangassinger won the slalom.
France’s Sebastien Amiez
and Norway’s Tom Stiansen
took second and third in the slalom.
U.S. Ski Team placed five racers in the top 30
in the super G, with Paul Casey Puckett
landing the highest position in 12th place. The
slalom proved more daunting for the Americans,
however, who failed to place any racers in the
top 30 after the first run.
“the Hermanator” Maier, an
international ski-racing star, won a dubious distinction
in Aspen when he and Austrian teammate Andreas
Schifferer were arrested a day after
the race by Aspen police for “borrowing”
a bicycle and riding double down the road.
and the Herminator ditched the bike when approached
by police, and attempted to escape on foot. They
were apprehended, handcuffed, taken to the Aspen
police station and were turned over to an Austrian
coach once charges of theft were dropped. The
racers explained they had borrowed the bike only
because they had no other transportation and feared
they might miss their flight out of Aspen. No
charges were brought against the two.