Locals take horns for Red Bull
The sun came out along with a considerable crowd for the Red Bull Ultra Cross at Squaw Valley on Saturday, Jan. 20.
The two-day event boasted some of the country’s most renowned skiers and snowboarders.
The Ultra Cross includes a partnered competition through a terrain park filled with table-tops, gap jumps and kickers, as well as a big air contest. The Ultra Cross consists of teams of one snowboarder and one skier. Four snowboarders are released on the course at a time, racing each other through the park’s challenging terrain. Once the riders cross the line, their skier partner is released and the race begins again. Through a process of elimination, the top four teams are left to battle it out for the title.
Shaun Palmer had the Ultra Cross 2001 title in his clutches, until he crashed just 10 feet from the finish, opening the door for Chris Davenport to cross the line first.
Davenport and his partner and childhood friend, Jason Evans – team “throttle” – took home $10,000 and the bragging rights.
“To win is great but to win against the best field ever, with the depth of riders who came out is amazing,” said Davenport. “This is one of the best victories for me ever.”
Squaw local Katie Shackelford and partner Line Oestvold captured the women’s title and $5,500 for their efforts, in what was only Shackelford’s second skier cross event. When the long day of preliminary rounds and speedy runs came to a close, 30 athletes headed back up the hill for the big air competition.
With only two practice runs, and one launch off a 40- foot jump to win, many competitors came up short and despite impressive acrobatics, were unable to land their jumps. Squaw legend Shane McConkey walked away with first prize and $1,000 cash purse.
In its fourth year, the Red Bull Ultra Cross involved over 200 competitors, former Olympic snowboarders, Winter X Games champions and local favorites.
The entire competition will be nationally televised soon on USA Network Core Culture.
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