Ski Wrap: Squaw’s Holland opens World Cup season with pair of top-10 finishes | SierraSun.com

Ski Wrap: Squaw’s Holland opens World Cup season with pair of top-10 finishes

Squaw Valley snowboarder and eight-time X Games gold medalist Nate Holland is back for another season of World Cup snowboard cross, and opened the year with a pair of top-10 finishes in Cervinia, Italy.

Holland, 40, opened the season on Dec. 21 by capturing eighth place in Italy. He was the second American across the finish line, behind Senna Leith. Germany's Martin Noerl won the race.

The second race of the World Cup season was the following day and Holland was again the second-fastest member of Team USA, finishing fifth. Italy's Emanuel Perathoner won the race, followed by Jake Vedder, of Pinckney, Michigan, in second place.

Reno's Cole Johnson was also racing in Italy, and finished the two days 49th and 44th, respectively.

Holland will next compete at the International Ski Federation World Championships on Feb. 1 at Solitude Mountain Resort in Utah.

The next snowboard cross event on the World Cup tour will be in Feldberg, Germany on Feb. 8-10.

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Shiffrin closes in on history

The face of women's alpine skiing, Mikaela Shiffrin, became the youngest alpine skier to win 50 World Cup races last week in Courchevel, France, with a victory in slalom, and now has more history in sight this week with races at Semmering, Austria.

With a win in slalom Shiffrin would surpass her childhood idol, Marlies Schild, of Austria, for the most all-time World Cup slalom victories. She can also pass Austria's Marcel Hirscher for the most victories in a calendar year. Both skiers are currently tied with 14 wins in 2018.

"It's a big block of races for sure," said Shiffrin in an interview with US Ski & Snowboard. "It was like this last year as well, so we've been expecting it. But it's always tough to do these races, have success, refocus and move forward again. I just try to keep the ball rolling."

Shiffrin's bid for history will be aired on NBC Sports Gold beginning today.

Snowshoe Thompson Classic set for Sunday

In homage of one of the area's most legendary figures, John "Snowshoe" Thompson, the annual Snowshoe Thompson Classic will be held at Auburn Ski Club on Sunday.

The race celebrates Thompson, who delivered mail between 1856 and 1876 between Placerville and Genoa, Nevada, and also Virginia City, Nevada. The cross-country race is one of the oldest in the Sierra, consisting of classic technique distances of 5 and 10 kilometers with a 2-kilometer youth race.

For registration information, visit FarWestNordic.com.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com.