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Lake Tahoe ski resorts to host Banzai Tour

Banzai Tour.jpg

A chance to race Olympian Daron Rahlves and win $10,000 will be available again this year.

The Daron Rahlves' Banzai Tour returns in 2013. The event showcases racing in its purest form: four competitors at one time going head-to-head over natural terrain in ski and boarder-cross-style action at several Lake Tahoe ski resorts.

The Banzai Tour is spread out over four weekends, starting Feb. 2 and running through March 10 at four Lake Tahoe ski resorts - Kirkwood, Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, where the Banzai finals will take place.

Skiers and snowboarders will be competing in men's and women's divisions for cash prizes and the opportunity to race against Rahlves, who won the last two Banzai finals. Rahlves was a decorated downhill skier who had 12 World Cup victories and was a familiar figure on the U.S. ski team with four Olympic appearances. He ended his competitive career by competing in skicross during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Banzai Tour dates:

  • Feb. 2-3: Kirkwood Mountain Resort
  • Feb. 9-10: Alpine Meadows
  • March 2-3: Squaw Valley
  • March 9-10: Sugar Bowl

Rahlves' career record includes seven U.S. National titles and 28 World Cup podiums. His biggest victory came in 2003 when he won the prestigious Hahnenkamm in Kitzbuhel, Austria
"What's so unique about this race is every day rippers line up against pro-level athletes and have a shot at the title of Rahlves Banzai Champ," Rahlves said. "It's a competition among competitors. But ultimately, it's against the mountain."

The final stop on the tour is at Sugar Bowl ski resort, where the race originated. The March 10 Silver Belt Banzai race will feature the "Super Final" in which Rahlves will race against the four men's skiing division winners from each stop on this year's tour.

Whoever beats Rahlves will take home the title and a cash prize of $10,000. There is an $80,000 total tour purse for competitors on the Rahlves' Banzai Tour. Competitors must be aged 18-above.

For details and to register, visit

Author Jeffrey Weidel, an award-winning writer from the Sacramento region,  can be spotted skiing the powdery slopes at Lake Tahoe-area ski resorts or trying to lower his handicap at local golf courses. He can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.

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