World Cup Tele Races Coming to Summit County
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — For the the first time ever, World Cup-level telemark racing is coming to Summit County, as free-heelers on the tour swing through Keystone Feb. 25-28, with four races on the schedule.
After the opening ceremony Wednesday at the Silverthorne Pavilion (6 p.m.) racers from around the world will compete in Classic tele races on the Go Devil trail, with Giant Slalom races set for Saturday and Sunday at the same venue.
Thirty five racers from Europe and Japan will join 20 American racers, most of them members of the U.S. National Team. Five U.S. racers competed in Norway last month, where 17-year-old Lorin Paley of Steamboat Springs had a third place podium finish in the classic event in Bjorli, Norway. Lorin is the first US racer to stand on the podium at this level of racing since 2003.
“She will be a racer to watch during these races in her home state,” said race organizer Tory Hauser.
Since telemark racing is not Olympic event, the World Cup races are the top level of competition for the racers dedicated to this sport.
Silverthorne is the host town for the event and the home of Drew Hauser, who was crowned junior world champion last season. Hauser is looking forward to competing on his home mountain, where he’s trained since he was in sixth grade.
“It should be fun,” said Hauser, now a student at the University of Nevada in Reno. “All these racers are from ski towns, too. It’s going to be nice to show them my home town.”
He said he knows some of the women racers are going to enjoy visiting the factory outlets in Silverthorne during their stay in Summit County.
“I know those girls love to shop,” he said.
As a freshman at UNR, Hauser said he hasn’t been training as much this year, but he’s still been making turns. Sugar Bowl Ski Area and Vail Resorts are among his sponsors.
“All that powder skiing makes me happy,” he said, referring to some of the ski days he’s enjoyed at Sugar Bowl this season.
For Drew’s dad, the World Cup races at Keystone will help bring the circle of telemark racing full circle in Summit County. Tory Hauser was one of the early Colorado revivalists of the time-honored Norwegian free-heel technique and was the president of the original Summit Series telemark races that eventually led to an international renaissance of tele racing.