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Crossmax draws top skiers to Whistler

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The World Ski and Snowboard Festival has taken snow sports to new extremes in recent years, slapping huge cash prizes on the barrel head, and inviting the top athletes in the world to Whistler to compete for fame, fortune and fun.

The Saab Crossmax Series, presented by Salomon, is a new event for the festival but promises to take skiercross to a new level. There is more than $55,000 in prize money at stake, including $15,000 in cash for the pro division. The amateurs will compete for $40,000 in prizes, including Salomon Crossmax skis, boots, apparel and trips to Salomon Crossmax Summer Camps at Whistler.

"With such a high calibre of athletes, there is no doubt this will be one of the best skiercross events of the years," says Erik Kalacis, the SAAB Crossmax event director from MASEV Communications and a Park City venue producer for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

X-Games champion Reggie Cris will on hand, as will former national team racer Roman Torn and Candice Drouin, who has competed internationally as both a snowboarder and a skier. Salomon’s international team will also be in Whistler, with Isidore Gruner, Enak Cavaggio and Xavier Kuhn.

The course will be longer and larger than for local events, with tabletop jumps, rollers, and banked turns. There are four skiers per heat, and only the top two move on.

For event information and athlete registration, visit www.salomonsports.com or call the Crossmax Hotline at 1-800-944-1044.

The event will be held on Blackcomb Mountain on April 17 in the Nintendo GameCube Terrain Park. The Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival takes place April 12-21.

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