Zermatt, Switzerland - December 4, 2013 – The full teams for SWATCH SKIERS CUP 2014 were announced today and the news caught the attention of the ski world: the assembled group of 16 riders represents one of the most impressive rosters ever seen at a single ski event. Team Europe captain Julien Regnier (FRA) will bring nearly all of the 2013 European riders back, giving them a chance to defend their 2013 trophy. On the other side, Team Americas captain JP Auclair (CAN) has rebuilt his team from the ground up, with heavy-hitting talent such as Sage Cattabriga-Alosa (USA), Callum Pettit (CAN) and the legendary Seth Morrison (USA).
For Team Europe, six riders who hosted the trophy in victory in 2013 are back to defend the title: event founders Kaj Zackrisson (Swatch Proteam, SWE) and Sverre Liliequist (Swatch Proteam, SWE), Richard Permin (Swatch Proteam, FRA), Fabio Studer (AUT), Sam Favret (FRA) and Nico Vuignier (SUI). The riders not returning in 2014 are Paddy Graham (UK) and Markus Eder (Swatch Proteam, ITA) -- both are in training, hoping to qualify for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Filling those two spots are Captain Julien Regnier and rising big mountain star Kevin Guri (FRA), fresh off a standout year on the 2013 Freeride World Tour that was capped with a victory at the world finals in Verbier.
With Team Americas behind by a score of 2-1 in the history of the event, choosing the athletes for Team Americas was crucial for Captain JP Auclair. “Although the SWATCH SKIERS CUP is a gentlemen’s event, there is a lot on the line and I knew I needed to bring the best team possible to even the score,” he said. The roster is a VIP list of American freeskiers: Seth Morrison (USA), Sage Cattabriga-Alosa (USA), Callum Pettit (CAN), Cody Townsend (Swatch Proteam, USA), Dane Tudor (USA), Tim Durtschi (USA) and KC Deane (USA). The riders with previous SKIERS CUP experience are Deane and Townsend, and Auclair will look to the talented pair for strategic advice as the event unfolds.
The riders’ announcement promises an exciting event in January, and underscores the success of the unique SWATCH SKIERS CUP concept. Liliequist and Zackrisson established the event to bring the best riders in the world together once a year, building camaraderie between continents while simultaneously pushing the level of the sport. Since its launch in 2011 at Valle Nevado, Chile, the event has grown each year, becoming a forum that the world’s top riders are eager to be invited to, even those who otherwise shy away from competition.
“Our goal with the SWATCH SKIERS CUP was simple; to put on an event where athletes perform at their top level while having fun with friends,” explained Zackrisson. “SKIERS CUP works because this environment keeps attracting the best riders, regardless of their background.”