CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine — For athletes at Carrabassett Valley Academy, traveling is nothing new. Each season, snowboarders at CVA span the globe to compete at premier-level competitions and tackle the top terrain the world has to offer. This week, however, the team’s travel budget will see some relief as the rest of the snowboard world makes the trip to Sugarloaf for the final stop on the 2009 Revolution Tour Monday through Wednesday.
For CVA, the Revolution Tour will provide a welcome respite from a busy travel schedule.
“It certainly helps, and we’re really excited,” said Barry Tripp, CVA snowboard program manager. “Sugarloaf is where we live and where we train, and being able to wake up in our own beds on the morning of the competition will really provide an advantage for us.”
Sixteen snowboarders from CVA will compete at Sugarloaf in the Revolution Tour, which is the top junior snowboard tour in the country and features competitions in halfpipe, slopestyle and snowboard cross. The Tour is used to qualify athletes for World Juniors, U.S. Open, U.S. World Cup, U.S. Grand Prix, USASA Nationals and Project Gold camps. The entire field of riders for this year’s tour sold out in 20 minutes.
“There are so many talented athletes who come from Maine and it will be great for them to compete on their home turf,” said Abbi Nyberg, U.S. Snowboarding program manager. “This season’s riding has once again raised the bar and we expect to see some great riding at Sugarloaf, particularly since it’s the final stop of the sea-son with a lot on the line.”
Several CVA riders have competed in all of this season’s Revolution Tour stops, taking them to locations in Colorado, California, and Oregon. Those riders include siblings Juliette and Benjamin Bisson of Carrabassett Valley, two of CVA’s top athletes and as good a bet as any to spend time on the podium next week.
Juliette Bisson, following her appearance in last week’s Visa U.S. Snowboarding World Cup at Sunday River, will compete in snowboard cross on Wednesday, while brother Benjamin will compete in all three Revolution Tour events. Juliette took first place in the final leg of last season’s Revolution Tour and finished second this season at a stop in California.
Also making the trek to all four tour stops across the country this season (and another likely bet to be seen atop a podium at Sugarloaf) is senior Alex Tuttle from Stratton. He is currently the top snowboardcross rider in the nation in the USASA Open Class and recently received an invitation to compete in the 2009 Junior World Championships in Nagano, Japan. Tuttle will also compete in the snowboardcross competition Wednesday.
Other CVA riders competing in next week’s Revolution Tour stop will be senior Dylan Darienzzo of Stratton; juniors Ian Daly of Kingfield, Alex Rodway of Rangeley, Nicol Colarusso of East Wareham, Mass., Molly Wasik of Rumson, N.J., and Ben Eames and Hank Poulin of Carrabassett Valley; sophomores Abe Darienzzo of Stratton and Beau Shanahan of Kingfield, and freshmen Emily Eames of Carrabassett Valley, Jack Dawe of Freeport and Jasper Tripp of Old Orchard Beach.
Wescott designs tour course
Fresh off of last week’s Visa U.S. Snowboarding World Cup, Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott is back home at Sugarloaf, putting a new design on his very own Sidewinder snowboardcross course as the resort prepares to host the final stop on the Revolution Tour.
“It’s a lot of fun for me to be able to put my years of experience to use in this fashion,” Wescott said from inside a snowcat on the course Thursday morning. “I’ve competed on courses all over the world, and with this venue that we have here at Sugarloaf there’s a lot of opportunity to create a really fun course that will challenge a lot of riders.”
Wescott spent the day on Thursday riding in a snowcat with Tim Norton, Sugarloaf’s terrain park builder in the resort’s brand new Sidewinder snowboardcross course. Wescott spent time this past summer helping to build a base for the course and was on hand to officially open the course in January.
The course for the Revolution Tour will feature rollers, banked turns, step-down jumps, gaps, hips and numerous other features that are sure to provide a thrilling show for spectators. The course starts at the base of the “Competition Hill” trail and continues underneath the SuperQuad before finishing on the famous Narrow Gauge trail. The fastest riders are expected to complete the course in about one minute.