Fiala, Rahlves qualify for The Ski Tour skiercross


Former U.S. Ski Teamer Jake Fiala, taking advantage of a sudden drop in what had been a steady uphill wind, had the fastest time in the inaugural Honda Ski Tour skiercross qualifier. Running last, Fiala, who retired two seasons ago from the World Cup, scorched the twisty, terrain-filled course in 54.17.
    Enak Gavaggio, a former X Games skiercross victor, posted the second-fastest time. Third went to Travis Svensrud. All three top qualifiers were helped by the drop in the wind, which was in the face of the racers for the first eight seconds of the course.
    “The course is a little more technical than the ones I competed on in the X Games and Gravity Games,” Fiala said. “This course is more technical, but it is really fun.”
    The tour’s most identifiable star, Daron Rahlves, who is racing in his first skiercross, wound up seventh.

SUN VALLEY, Idaho — Former U.S. Ski Teamer Jake Fiala, taking advantage of a sudden drop in what had been a steady uphill wind, had the fastest time in the inaugural Honda Ski Tour skiercross qualifier. Running last, Fiala, who retired two seasons ago from the World Cup, scorched the twisty, terrain-filled course in 54.17.
    Enak Gavaggio, a former X Games skiercross victor, posted the second-fastest time. Third went to Travis Svensrud. All three top qualifiers were helped by the drop in the wind, which was in the face of the racers for the first eight seconds of the course.
    “The course is a little more technical than the ones I competed on in the X Games and Gravity Games,” Fiala said. “This course is more technical, but it is really fun.”
    The tour’s most identifiable star, Daron Rahlves, who is racing in his first skiercross, wound up seventh.
    “The snow is grippy and you have to be active and try to work the course,” Rahlves said. Asked what he thought about qualifying to race in a group, the former Hahnenkamm winner grinned and replied, “I guess I will find out about traffic tomorrow.”
    Canadian racer Stanley Hayer had the fasted run going when the wind was blowing. Just off the plane from Europe, Hayer said the course was similar to ones he had skied in Europe. “It is technically hard,” he said, adding that some sleep is what he needed most.
    Paul Casey Puckett, a former U.S. Ski Team member who now holds the Jeep skiercross title, took fifth spot. He was followed by Zach Crist, who is the athletic director of The Honda Ski Tour.
    Jean “Biche” Rudigoz, a Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation coach and son of Michel Rudigoz — who coached the famous 1984 U.S. women’s alpine team — ran eighth, easily qualifying.
    The Dollar Mountain course took its toll. Former national team slalom ace Chip Knight crashed in the first training run and appeared to have damaged a knee. Hank Minor, the owner of Apple’s Bar and Grill, a renown “race” bar here, also fell hard in training and was not able to compete.
    The qualifying runs were run in very cold, clear weather with a steady wind blowing in the racers’ face on the top of course that twists down “old Bowl” on Dollar Mountain. Filled with terrain and large jumps, the course was narrow, which will make it tough to pass in the winding midsection of the track, competitors said.
    “The start will be critical,” Rahlves said. “It will be the place to make your move.”
    Tomas Krauss, the FIS skiercross champion, was given special dispensation to be the 22nd racer. Krauss, whose plane underwent mechanical repairs in Amsterdam, missed the qualifying run. Working with the tour and the competitors, it was agreed he would be allowed to start as the last racer in.
    Approximately 800 spectators turned up for the qualifying runs despite the bitter weather. Meanwhile, preparations for the opening ceremonies were going on in Ketchum, where 10 bands will be performing at various local emporiums highlighted, by a Wailers concert in the center of the old mining town.


The Honda Ski Tour results
Skiercross qualifying

Dollar Mountain, Idaho                       
Friday, Jan. 12, 2007

                       
RESULT    BIB    LAST NAME    FIRST NAME    Run 1     Run 2    Best Run
Advance From Run 1                       
1    121    Fiala    Jake    54.17        54.17
2    118    Gavaggio    Enak    54.63        54.63
3    119    Svensrud    Travis    54.72        54.72
4    20    Hayer    Stanley    55.15        55.15
5    66    Puckett    Casey    55.49        55.49
6    83    Crist    Zach    55.55        55.55
7    75    Rahlves    Daron    55.65        55.65
8    11    Rudigoz Jean    56.43        56.43
9    117    Barr    Davey    56.65        56.65
10    106    Smith    Cody    56.72        56.72
11    14    Lewen    Lars    56.76        56.76
12    30    Archer    Eric    56.80        56.80
13    88    DelBosco    Chris    56.88        56.88
14    82    Questad    Christian    56.97        56.97
Paul Mitchell Dark Horse Qualifier (7 athletes)                       
15    28    Glick    Justin    57.46    56.86    56.86
16    10    Rixon    Carl    57.13    DNS    57.13
17    24    Bloomfield    Clic    57.22    59.50    57.22
18 &n
bsp;  13    Palmer    Shaun    DNF    57.73    57.73
19    47    Murphy    Matt    58.26    57.88    57.88
20    79    Greener    Rick    58.87    58.32    58.32
21    78    Post    Griffin    58.81    59.23    58.81
Other competitors
22    76    Parks    Jamey    58.85    58.98    58.85
23    19    Glenne    Olin    60.31    59.07    59.07
24    111    Dean    Ryan    59.21    59.46    59.21
25    43    Schwing    Nathan    59.97    59.22    59.22
26    40    Sul    Kyle    59.35    59.69    59.35
27    116    Verge    Ben    59.86    60.71    59.86
28    15    Webb    Rob    62.97    59.96    59.96
29    114    Hegewald    Jan    61.16    62.03    61.16
30    25    Wartusch    Christian    67.43    63.78    63.78

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