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Ski Season Begins Saturday

The FIS Alpine World Cup season begins Saturday on the Rettenbach Glacier at Soelden, Austria, with the women's giant slalom. The men race on Sunday.

American Ted Ligety won the season opener at Soelder last fall and went on to win the World Cup GS title.

"Ted gets this hill," said men's Sasha Rearick. "Soelden starts out with a long flat section at the top followed by a big right hand break over with a steep pitch. Then it's pretty flat again at the bottom. He did a good amount of speed training this summer and is much better prepared for keeping his speed in those flatter sections - he's already got the steeps nailed."

Also racing Sunday will be Erik Schlopy, Jimmy Cochran, Jake Zamansky and reigning overall World Cup champion Bode Miller. (Bode's not everyone's cup of tea, but check out this video; at least he's got a sense of humor.)

The U.S. women who'll race Saturday include Lindsay Vonn, Julia Mancuso, Stacey Cook, Sarah Schleper, Jessica Kelley, Megan McJames and Keely Kelleher.

Warm temperatures have closed all training in Soelden prior to the race, but coaches say there is plenty of snow on the slope and that colder fronts are on the way.

"They're calling for some cold weather leading up to race weekend," said Rearick. "They have plenty of snow on that slope. It's really wide, so there's room to do some [snow] farming. They'll likely fire up the guns whenever they get the opportunity. We'll race."

Universal Sports (formerly WCSN) will broadcast the race on www.universalsports.com.

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 24, 2008; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Skiing  
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