Aspen host women’s World Cup this weekend |

Aspen host women’s World Cup this weekend

Mikaela Shiffrin of Eagle-Vail skis in the first run of the women's World Cup slalom last season in Levi Finland. Shiffrin is a favorite to win in this weekend's World Cup slalom races in Aspen.
Giovanni Auletta/AP | AP

Giant slalom race day for the 2014 Aspen Winternational means fireworks — figuratively and literally.

The World Cup ski racing “fireworks” will play out today on the slopes of Spring Pitch, Summer Road and Strawpile on Aspen Mountain with the first and second runs of the women’s giant slalom at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The literal fireworks will explode over the Little Nell slope at 8:15 tonight after the Reel Big Fish concert and the real big podium ceremony.

In the meantime, today’s giant slalom winner will join an elite list of Aspen World Cup winners — a star-studded roster that started in 1968 with the first races under the auspices of the current World Cup organization.

Canadian Nancy Greene dominated in the first women’s races in Aspen, winning the downhill, slalom and giant slalom (all three disciplines of the day) in ’68.

Fast forward to 2012, the last year the women of the World Cup raced in Aspen.

Slovenian star Tina Maze, a former overall World Cup champion, won the World Cup giant slalom on Aspen Mountain.

One day later, Kathrin Zettel of Austria won the World Cup slalom, her second victory in Aspen.

Zettel also won the Aspen GS in 2006.

They are just the latest on the roster of the top women skiers in the world who have won on the slopes of Aspen: Green, Tamara McKinney, Janica Kostelic, Anja Paerson, Tanja Poutiainen, Marlies Schild, Tina Maze.

McKinney, a ski racer often compared with Eagle-Vail’s Mikaela Shiffrin, won the World Cup giant slalom in Aspen in 1981.

Two years later, McKinney was the overall queen of the World Cup.

Kostelic, a modern-era legend from Croatia, won twice in Aspen (2000) and (2004) — both slaloms.

Schild first won in Aspen in the 2006 slalom.

The Austrian won again five years later in the 2011 slalom.

The list of Aspen World Cup winners on the men’s side includes Ingemar Stenmark, Franz Klammer, Phil Mahre, Peter Muller, Todd Brooker, Bill Johnson, Pirmin Zurbriggen, Marc Girardelli and Alberto Tomba.

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