X Games champion Matt Ladley still flying in The Amazing Race | SteamboatToday.com

X Games champion Matt Ladley still flying in The Amazing Race

Matt Ladley, an X Games champ in 2016, will be featured on the new season of "The Amazing Race," starting March 30.

— Matt Ladley's trip around the world — or at least the television airing of his trip — continues Thursday, and it could carry on for awhile longer if the first half of the current season of The Amazing Race is any indication.

Ladley, a Steamboat Springs half-pipe snowboarder and X Games champion, has been fast, fast and fast so far this season on the show. The show airs at 9 p.m. Thursday nights on CBS.

The series started in March with 11 teams, but eliminating one team per episode — for most episodes, anyway — the list has been trimmed to six teams, and Ladley and his racing partner Redmond Ramos have done well to stay ahead of the pack.

The team finished third in each of the season's first two legs then overcame a potentially season-ending twist in the third. Whereas teams usually can choose between two tasks to complete to advance, Ladley and Ramos' racing rivals Vanck Zhu and Ashton Theiss deployed a U-turn, forcing the pair to finish both tasks before advancing.

Ladley and Ramos still came in fourth, however, easily in time to advance.

Since then, the team has been fourth, second twice and in the most recent episode, Leg 7, first.

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They won a trip for two to Grenada for winning that stage.

After a few bitter exchanges with Zhu and Theiss — who were eliminated after Leg 6 — Ladley and Ramos have been depicted as getting along well with their follow racers.

Ladley's proven a big asset in several obstacles. He outpaced his fellow racers, including a Boulder-based climbing instructor, in a rock climbing challenge in Milan, Italy, and a basket-weaving challenge in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

The pair will start Thursday's episode in first place. The leg will take racers from Italy, site of the last two legs, to Greece. The finale is set for June 1.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966