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Deer Valley aerials: Bauer shifts her focus


Veronika Bauer cursed Deer Valley on Thursday night.
    Then she praised it.
DEER VALLEY, Utah — Veronika Bauer cursed Deer Valley on Thursday night.
    Then she praised it.
    “I love this venue — it’s the best World Cup on tour, because they always have the hill ready, and it’s in the best condition it could possibly be in,” the accomplished Canadian veteran said after fumbling out of contention in the final round of aerials. “And the specs are perfect, the snow is great, the condos are the best … beautiful, million-dollar condos. We love it here.”
    Bauer, 27, landed a full-double-full for 84.60 points in the  opening round Thursday, but just 74.01 on her second attempt — a double-full-full — finishing 10th on the evening.
    That’s where the cursing came in. “I totally screwed up,” she said. “It was just a split second when I was on the jump and I just got too forward and missed my takeoff, and that sets the whole pace for the jump, and I messed it up.
    “I haven’t been struggling with it, it’s actually a really good jump for me. I just locked in that one second and did the wrong thing. I’m pretty tired, maybe that’s why.”
    Bauer, third last weekend at Mont Gabriel, has reason to take a liking to the Deer Valley course. She finished second here in 2005 and 2006 World Cups and nabbed silver at the 2003 worlds on the venue that hosted the 2002 Olympics aerials.
    She’s got 17 World Cup podiums to her credit, four World Cup wins and the 2001 World Championships gold medal from the Whistler event. This season, she admitted, is less about results than about progress.
    “I’ve been working on my technical squareness of the jump,” she said. “I’ve been twisting too early and leading too much on one foot, so it sends me kind of to the right, which makes it really hard to land. I’ve been landing crooked, so my main thing has been to get my takeoff more square coming off and make it easier to land.”
    “Personally, the year after the Olympics, I’ve been taking this year as a training year. Really I’m doing just a couple of World Cups just to get some results. World Championships is a goal, but we’re taking a different approach this year and focusing on training rather than week-to-week World Cup competition.”
    The freestyle worlds, originally set for Jan. 22-28, have been pushed back to March 5-11 due to warm temps in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.
    “It would have been better if we had snow and things went as planned, because you plan your whole year based on certain things happening at certain times,” Bauer said. “It was at a good time in [late January]. Usually at the end of the season, you’re worn out and ready to lay on the couch for a week.”
    Friday, she’ll look for some better technique when the Deer Valley track hosts another night aerials competition. Women’s qualification begins at 1 p.m., men’s at 3:35 p.m, with finals set for 6:45 for women and 7:20 for men.
    “I’ll do the same jumps,” she said, “and hopefully the frustration from today will make me do better tomorrow.”

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