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Vail's Vonn headlines Aspen Winternational World Cup over Thanksgiving weekend
Vail's Lindsey Vonn, shown here after winning on the Olympic venue in Whistler last season, hopes to improve on last year's fourth-place finish in GS at Aspen when she races there Thanksgiving weekend.

Vail's Vonn headlines Aspen Winternational World Cup over Thanksgiving weekend


November 16, 2009 —  ASPEN, CO – Thanksgiving weekend again brings the world's best alpine ski racers back to the Rocky Mountains for the Aspen Winternational, the first stop of the U.S. swing for the women's Audi FIS Alpine World Cup. The weekend promises excitement as Vancouver Bound athletes look for victory in GS and slalom on Aspen's Strawpile racing slope.

All eyes will be on two time World Cup overall champion and World Champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) to ace the slalom while 2006 Olympic giant slalom gold medalist Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) hopes to be a top contender in the GS race during the sixth year in a row for Aspen hosting the World Cup tour.

NBC, the Olympic network, will air coverage of the GS at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 29. Daily coverage is also available free on with the slalom airing LIVE and the GS on demand following the race.

Versus will broadcast the GS on Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. ET with the slalom to follow at 5 p.m. ET.

Vonn kicked the season into gear with a solid season opener in Soelden, finishing ninth in the slalom. After training in Colorado following the season opener, Vonn made her way to Levi, Finland, where she finished second Saturday.

"Aspen is always awesome because it gives our family and friends a chance to see what we do in person. There's a special feel to World Cup races that you can't get by watching television," Vonn said. "No doubt the 'Vonnterage' is going to be in full force at Aspen. Hopefully we can get back on the podium for all the fans."

Following a summer of intense training, Mancuso, who finished seventh in last season's GS at Aspen, is looking to leave her mark on the Strawpile once again as she enjoys the Thanksgiving weekend with the U.S. home crowd.

"I'm looking forward to Aspen because it's always fun to be with the home crowd and it's a fun hill. Just being home any time of the year is special to me," Mancuso said. "Seventh is the best I've done in Aspen, so I want to get on the podium and do better."

"Everyone's excited to start racing, especially at home. Really, the Aspen race is the start of the season because we start racing every weekend after that," U.S. Women's Alpine Ski Team Head Coach Jim Tracy said. "Aspen is a traditional race and that place is all about skiing and they've had such a long tradition of racing there. It's an exciting place to go."

The seasoned history of Aspen's World Cup involvement began in 1968 when, in what was only the second season of the World Cup tour, the former mining town hosted its first World Cup race. The town's roots in ski racing, on the other hand, date back to 1939 when the mountain held the earliest sanctioned races. Later, thanks to the efforts of local skiing legend Dick Durrance, Aspen hosted the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1950.

An Olympic year generates tremendous coverage of skiing and ski racing, and the eyes of the world will once again be on Aspen/Snowmass as we kick off a much anticipated winter season with the Aspen Winternational," John Rigney, Aspen Skiing Company vice president, sales and events said. "Our community is extremely excited about getting back on our mountains, hosting the greatest female athletes in the world and enjoying a great show by Colorado favorites - The John Popper Project with DJ Logic."

Racing gets underway Saturday with GS followed by a slalom on Sunday. Public festivities are also planned throughout the weekend including fireworks, an athlete autograph signing and a concert featuring John Popper Project and DJ Logic
2010 Aspen Winternational Schedule (all times Mountain):

Saturday, November 28
8:00 a.m. - 4 p.m. Free public shuttles run every 20 minutes from Rubey Park - St. Regis - Venue
10:00 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sponsor Village open - Gondola Plaza
10:00 a.m. Women’s GS run 1 - Strawpile
1:00 p.m. Women’s GS run 2 - Strawpile
(awards ceremony immediately following)
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. U.S. Ski Team autograph signing - Gondola Plaza
6:30 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. Awards ceremony for giant slalom winners and presentation of bingham cup - Concert Stage
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 pm Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series featuring John Popper Project and DJ Logic - Upper Gondola Plaza
8:30 p.m. Fireworks extravaganza - Little Nell

Sunday, November 29
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Free public shuttles run every :20 minutes from Rubey Park - St. Regis - Venue
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Sponsor Village open - Gondola Plaza
10:00 a.m. Women’s slalom run 1 - Strawpile
1:00 p.m. Women’s Slalom run 2 - Strawpile
(awards ceremony immediately following)



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