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The Ski Tour: Rahlves tops in Breck SX qualifying


Former U.S. Ski Teamer Daron Rahlves was fastest in qualifying Saturday for skiercross at the second stop of The Honda Ski Tour.


BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado — Former U.S. Ski Teamer Daron Rahlves was fastest in qualifying Saturday for skiercross at the second stop of The Honda Ski Tour. The qualifying was pushed back a day due to snow and wind, and the skiercross finals are set for Sunday, as well as the men's ski halfpipe.   
    2007 X Games skier X gold medalist Puckett qualified fifth despite losing a ski landing the last jump and crossing the finish line with only one ski.
    “The wind is pretty inconsistent, some people are going to get gusts and some aren’t,” said Puckett of the qualifying round. “We’ve only had a couple of full-speed runs down the course due to winds, so we’re still feeling it out. The run went well for me, I was happy with it, my ski popped off at the last jump which was kind of funky, but otherwise it went off without a hitch.”
    Skiercross competition involves four skiers racing head-to-head through a motocross-style course featuring jumps, banked turns, waves and modified terrain features. Saturday’s individual skiercross time trial qualified the fastest 14 athletes who will automatically advance to Sunday’s elimination rounds. Competitors qualifying 15-22 will have a second chance to advance to elimination rounds with the Paul Mitchell Dark Horse qualifier Sunday. Exclusive to THST, the PMDH qualifier allows those eight skiers to race head-to-head in two heats with the winner of each heat advancing to the main event.
    Although Saturday’s individual time-trial qualifier seeded the athletes for Sunday’s elimination rounds, each of the qualified athletes will start fresh and each has a chance to take home the second THST skiercross title and claim a piece of the $62,500 prize purse.
    “We definitely had a chance to figure out the track and what to do today,” said first-place qualifier Rahlves. “Corley [Howard], the course builder, made some changes that worked out really well for us. And, yeah, I won the qualifying day today, so I’m fast on my own, but we’ll see what happens when I get into heats. There are definitely some spots I’ve picked out which might be good passing zones, but you never really know. You have a game plan but you only have a small amount of time with which to use that game plan. If you’re in the back you’re got to react. For me, my goal is to get a good start and get out in front. But if I’m in the back I have to have some good ideas of where to make a move. I’ve had a little bad luck; in the finals in Sun Valley at the first Honda Ski Tour and in the X Games finals, but I’m learning. I’m learning to be a little more patient, because when Casey’s [Puckett] in front of you, he’s not going to let up any room. He shut me down pretty hard in Sun Valley and then I made a tactical error at the X Games, but I’m looking to change this streak around.”
    Halfpipe finals will take place Sunday on Peak 8, where 26 athletes are vying for their chance to take home $62,500 in prize money. Due to the weather cancellation on Friday, and time constraints Sunday, there will be no qualifying round; instead contenders will go head-to-head in two runs with the best run counting toward their final ranking. The impressive field includes 2007 X Games Superpipe gold medalist Tanner Hall as well as THST stop No. 1 winner and X Games medalist Simon Dumont. Other contenders include Mike Riddle, Jossi Wells, Candide Thovex and Matt Phillippi.
    “We’re amazed at the field of halfpipe athletes that are competing,” said THST co-founder Kipp Nelson. “We basically have the entire field of X Games here and what’s so fascinating is we had Simon [Dumont] win our first event, and two weeks later Tanner [Hall] pushed him into second place at the X Games. They’re both here for our second event, so now it’s kind of a friendly grudge match. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.”



The Honda Ski Tour
Breckenridge, Colorado              
Skiercross Time Trial Results Feb. 3, 2007

RESULT    BIB    ATHLETE NAME    COUNTRY    TIME
1    16    Daron Rahlves    USA    49.36
2    40    Stanley Hayer    CAN    49.54
3    48    David Lamb    USA    49.67
4    5    Lars Lewen    SWE    49.77
5    34    Casey Puckett    USA    49.95
6    4    Enak Gavaggio    FRA    49.96
7    38    Zach Crist    USA    50.27
8    11    Roman Hofer    AUT    50.72
9    41    Carl Rixon    USA    50.73
10    19    Klaus Waldner    AUT    50.73
11    9    Justin Glick    USA    50.89
12    39    Jakub Fiala    USA    51.09
13    22    Davey Barr    CAN    51.15
14    24    Clic Bloomfield    USA    51.80
DARK HORSE                
15    25    Cody Smith    USA    51.95
16    30    Kyle Sul    USA    52.22
17    31    Rick Greener    USA    52.76
18    8    Cliff Bennett    USA    52.89
19    15    TJ Cannon    USA    53.18
20    20    Jan Hegewald    USA    53.30
21    27    Tyson Bolduc    USA    53.32
22    10    Griffin Post    USA    60.94
cut off                
23    21    Christian Questad    USA    DNF
24    42    Chris Ward    USA    DNS
                
* Provisional re-runs for bib 10,21 were denied by jury  

Sunday, Feb. 4
HALFPIPE HEAT ORDERS       
START     ATHLETE    COUNTRY

HEAT 1       
1    Charlie Lasser    USA
2    JP Solberg    USA
3    John Spriggs
    USA
4    Fritz VanDeMark    USA
5    John Symms    USA
6    Matt Philippi    USA
7    Arnaud Rougier    FRA
8    Peter Olenick    USA
9    JL Ratchel    FRA
10    Brent Abrams    USA
11    Matt Hayward    USA
12    Mike Riddle    USA
13    Simon Dumont    USA
HEAT 2       
1    Stefan Thomas    USA
2    Andreas Hatveit    USA
3    Scott Hibbert    CAN
4    Aurelien Fornier    FRA
5    Justin Dorey    CAN
6    Sean Field    USA
7    Loic Collomb-Patton    FRA
8    Charles Gagnier    CAN
9    Andrew Woods    USA
10    Tanner Hall    USA
11    Lyndon Sheehan    USA
12    Colby West    USA
13    Dan Marion    USA


Sunday, Feb. 4 schedule

Peak 9—Skiercross – free event/lift ticket needed on the mountain

9:00 am                        Athlete Lift Access
9:15 – 9:45                   Course Inspection
9:45 – 10:15                 1 Training Run
10:15 – 10:30                Course Closed for Maintenance
10:30                           Dark Horse Heats
11:00                           First Round Heats
11:30                           Semi Final Heats
11:55                           Consolation
12:00                           Finals
12:05                           Awards
 
Peak 8 – Halfpipe – free event & viewing from base area
11:30 – 1:30                 Halfpipe Practice
1:30 – 1:45                   Maintenance
1:45 – 2:25                   Finals – Run 1 (all athletes)
2:25 – 3:05                   Finals – Run 2 (all athletes)     
3:10                            Awards

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