Riders with ties to Steamboat Springs leave mark on World Cup, Nor-Am
Steamboat Springs — With the World Cup season behind him, Justin Reiter was in France Wednesday working at a snowboard camp offered by one of the many friends he has made during his career on the tour,
“It hasn’t quite sunk in yet,” Reiter said of one of the best season-long showings by an American snowboarder — ever.
Thanks to his first-ever World Cup win in Moscow, a second-place finish in Japan and three other top-10 finishes on the 2015 World Cup tour, the Steamboat Springs rider finished third in the combined standings. The combined includes the points from both the parallel slalom and parallel giant slalom.
He was one of several riders with ties to Steamboat Springs who left a mark on the World Cup and Nor-Am standings this season.
Reiter finished the season ranked eighth in the PGS standings and fourth in the PSL. The only riders with more points were the world’s top rider, Zan Kosir of Slovenia, and Italian rider Roland Fischnaller. Former Steamboat Springs rider and two-time Olympic Gold medalist Vic Wild was second this season in the PGS and eighth in the PSL. He was sixth in the overall standings.
“I’m really proud of my accomplishments this season,” Reiter said. “It’s been a long, hard road, but it was part of my development. I have learned to accept it, and it makes me appreciate things like this that much more.”
Reiter, who has struggled with injuries throughout his career, was a part of the US Olympic Team in 2014 and has continued to improve his standings the past two seasons.
Reiter wasn’t the only rider training with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club to be found near the top of the World Cup rankings in 2015
Ester Ledecka, a rider from the Czech Republic who has trained in Steamboat Springs with coach Thedo Remmelink, also had a solid season. Ledecka was ranked third in the combined results thanks to her second-place ranking in PGS and an eighth-place ranking in the PSL. Ledecka won two World Cup competitions this season and was third in another. She also topped the field in the slalom at the World Snowboarding Championships in Lachtal, Austria.
“Ester has been training with us for three years,” said Thedo Remmelink, snowboarding coach at the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. “This was a huge season for her,”
It was also a huge season for Steamboat rider Aaron “AJ” Muss, but if you ask him, he will tell you it was always a part of the plan to win the Nor-Am title.
“My plan has always been the same,” Muss said. “I’ve always wanted to do well, and I knew it would happen if I would just stick to the plan.”
Muss collected the most points this season en route to winning the Nor-A Cup. Last year, he was sixth on the Nor-Am, and he attributes his improved standing to making a plan and sticking to it. The Nor-Am title means he will not have to worry about having a World Cup start next year — he will hold a starting spot for the entire season.
In 2015 Muss won 10 out of the 12 Nor-Am events and was never out of the top-10 all season.
“This takes some of the pressure off,” Muss said. “I know I will have a World Cup starting position, so now I can focus on riding fast and winning.”
Most of Steamboat’s top racers still have one more event this season, the USASA National Championships, which run March 28 through April 7 this month at the Copper Mountain Ski Resort.
Both Reiter and Muss plan on racing at the event.
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