Expect an unmistakable sense of déjà vu when racers slide into the starting gates at the revived World Pro Ski Tour at New Hampshire’s Waterville Valley in February and Maine’s Sunday River in late March. Oldtimers might hear the haunting exhortations of famed announcer Bob Beattie, or even catch a glimpse of ghostly apparitions resembling Steve and Phil Mahre, Billy Kidd, Tiger Shaw or Felix McGrath running the gates.
“The original Pro Tour was really the rock ’n’ roll age of skiing,” said Michael Ankeny, a Minnesota native and 2015 North American Cup champion. “The racers were cool, and the events looked like a big party.
“I hope that the new Pro Tour can piggyback off of that, and continue to bring the same energy to the events,” said Ankeny, 27. “I hope it stays true to its roots.”
Last March, the revived Pro Ski Challenge at Sunday River brought top North American racers together for the country’s first professional dual race in 18 years. Top-ranked American and fourtime national champion David Chodounsky, a Dartmouth grad, defeated 2017 U.S. and Canadian national slalom champion AJ Ginnis to take the $10,000 grand prize. This year, World Pro Ski Tour organizers are planning three events, including the two in New England.