For the fourth time in as many years, the World Pro Ski Tour comes to Steamboat Springs as it hosts its first event of the 2023 season Jan. 5-7 at Howelsen Hill.
With a slightly new look this year, the season is scheduled for 16 races in total, two for men and two for women across the four tours.
In addition to Steamboat, the tour takes athletes to historic pro-race locations in Bear Valley, California, as well as Taos, New Mexico. A fourth location has not yet been announced, but it will be held at a facility in the eastern US.
New to the Tour will be a full-time complement of women competing on all four race weekends. Steamboat welcomed women to its event last year, the first time the series had a women’s tour in more than 20 years. This will be the first season in that distance with women competing in every event.
Excited to see the expansion, Briar Schreiber, vice president of marketing for the World Pro Ski Tour, said the addition of women will only make the race weekend more exciting and competitive.
“In general this season, the World Pro Ski Tour will run as many women’s races as it will the men’s,” Schreiber said. “They’re on the same course and competing for the same podium prize money.”
The daytime races will be new to the Steamboat event. In the past, races at Howellsen have been held under lights, but due to the extreme weather in the past, organizers have determined that switching to daytime races would be more spectator-friendly for those who want to watch in person.
The Alpine Bank Junior Challenge also returns to Steamboat on Jan. 6 following the day’s super slalom event.
Steamboat races feature some of the world’s best skiers, including three-time Tour champion Rob Cone, the overall winner in each of the past three years.
Olympian Nolan Casper, two-time steamboat champion Michael Ankeny, and steamboat regular Garrett Driller will begin the season trying to dethrone Cone. Tomorrow, the champion of Tyva will join Norbeezi on the tour.
Those wishing to watch the race online can watch it on FloLive.tv or on WPST’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Spectators are invited to enjoy the event at Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs, located at the base of the hill and behind the Howelsen Lodge.
“They race head-to-head, so it’s really fun for spectators to come and check it out,” Schreiber said. “If you’ve never seen a dual race, it means that the first athlete to the finish line wins. It doesn’t matter what their time is compared to others in the same bracket.”