Ford Challenge comes to Squaw this weekend |

Ford Challenge comes to Squaw this weekend

Tribune staff report

Some of the world’s greatest snowboarders are lining up to prove their worth in the Ford Ranger FX4 Challenge to be held at Squaw Valley March 29-30.

The snowboardcross (SBX) race has attracted some of the most elite racers in the world, and is one of the United States’ first SBX events since the U.S. Olympic Committee announced the inclusion of the sport in the 2006 Olympics. With a more radical course layout, getting to the base of the mountain first will take more than pure speed as racers compete for their share of over $30,000 in prize money and a 2003 Ford Ranger Two-Year Lease.

The event’s roster of 20 invited athletes includes the top four SBX racers in the world – France’s Xavier Delerue, Mickael David, Sylvain Duclos and Canadian Jasey Jay Anderson, as well as Sweden’s Jonte Grundelius and Germany’s Sven Unger. The US Snowboard Team members include Jeff Greenwood, Pete Thorndike, Ryan McDonald, Eric Warren and Ben Fairchild. Local athletes pledging to attend include Matt Shrive, who now lives in Reno and Nate Holland.

According to Race Designer Greg Nevolo, who also designs snowboard cross courses for the X Games, the course will provide enough challenges and excitement for both the athletes and the spectators. Although typical of this style racecourse, tabletops, bank turns, off-cam returns, and large rollers will play a major part in the design. The race will take place on Squaw Valley’s upper mountain adjacent to the Main Line Terrain Park.

Anyone interested in qualifying can register for the Ford Ranger FX4 Challenge at BAR 6 at Squaw Valley Resort on Saturday March 29 from 8:00 – 10 am. The cost is $50, and all registrants must complete registration and waiver forms on-site. Photo identification and a helmet are required. On Saturday, registered qualifiers get two chances to run the course, and the top 12 will qualify to race in the Ford Ranger FX4 Challenge on Sunday, based their finish times.

To bring even more excitement to the Ford Ranger FX4 Challenge, the series is introducing an ‘open’ qualifying element designed to spark interest throughout the snowboard world. Based on a new qualifying format, any and all SBX racers will have the opportunity to compete in head-to-head racing against top international racers in the Ford race.

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For more information on the event call (970) 376-5069.