Snowboarding champs look to catch some air

WILMINGTON The State Farm U.S. Snowboard Cup has announced the addition of a second snowboardcross to the lone U.S. stop on the World Cup tour. The program now calls for SBX races on Thursday, March 8 and Sunday, March 11 with a halfpipe contest on Saturday, March 10 at Whiteface in nearby Wilmington followed by the perennial Paul Mitchell Progression Session later that evening. NBC will televise coverage of the halfpipe from Lake Placid at noon on Sunday, March 18 with additional airtime on Versus at 3 p.m. Versus will also feature the Paul Mitchell Progression Session at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 25. Lake Placid is a proven World Cup venue. For them to be able to step up and add an additional SBX contest is a great opportunity for our riders, said U.S. Snowboarding Program Director Jeremy Forster. Reigning halfpipe winners Gretchen Bleiler (Aspen, Colo.), the 2006 Olympic silver medalist, and 07 Grand Prix champion Tommy Czeschin (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) will be back along with two-time X Games champion Steve Fisher (Breckenridge, Colo.) as the Bear Superpipe hosts the worlds best for the third straight year. Lighting up the SBX competition will be back-to-back world champion Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, Vt.), double X Games gold medalist Nate Holland (Squaw Valley, Calif.) and recently crowned U.S. champions Callan Chythlook-Sifsof (Girdwood, Alaska) and Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, Mich). Jacobellis, Holland and Chythlook-Sifsof all podiumed earlier this year at the opening World Cup of the season in Furano, Japan. "Last year I had a great experience at the Lake Placid World Cup, said Bleiler. The halfpipe was in great shape and soft which led to a progressive contest and it was also fun to take advantage of the Olympic venues, like going bobsledding and I spent time with my mom at the Mirror Lake Inn and Spa." Also on tap for Lake Placid is the crowd favorite Paul Mitchell Progression Session, this year staged at the MacKenzie Intervale Jumping complex, home of the 1980 Olympic ski jumps. Riders will rocket down the ski jump outrun of the 120-meter ski jump into a monstrous 30-foot quarterpipe. Up for grabs at the end of the jam session is $7,500 in cash, plus an additional $2,500 for the rider who stomps the Rip It Trick of the Day. Fans will have easy access to all the action. Its a free walk to the halfpipe and SBX competitions as the lodge is just steps away from the base of the pipe and SBX finish area. The MacKenzie Intervale Jumping Complex will also be open free to the public. Upon the conclusion of qualification and training on Wednesday afternoon, there will be a brief ceremony and dedication at the foot of the SBX course as riders and organizers remember the late Jonatan Johansson of Sweden. The 2006 Olympian lost his life at Whiteface last year during SBX training. If you Go Friday, March 9 Mens/Womens Halfpipe Qualifications Saturday, March 10 Womens SBX 2 Qualifications, Mens/Womens Halfpipe Finals - Paul Mitchell Progression Session Sunday, March 11 Mens SBX 2 Qualifications, Mens/Womens SBX 2 Finals

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