WENGEN 2005: Daron Rahlves may skip Lauberhorn downhillBecause of injuries incurred in the Adelboden giant slalom earlier this week, Daron Rahlves says he may not start the Lauberhorn downhill on Saturday. “I’d say the chances are about 20 percent,” said Rahlves, who made the World Cup downhill title his primary goal this season.
“It hurts just standing on it and walking,” said Rahlves about the deep bruise on his shin. “I went up yesterday just to get a start in case I feel healthy enough to race here Saturday. I threw a bib on over my t-shirt, and kicked out of the start and walked back up.
Rahlves has never won Wengen, and wants to add it to his collection of trophies from premier downhills like Kitzbuehel, Bormio and Beaver Creek. “It’s tough because this is one of my favorite downhills, and if I can race I’m going to be going into it with no skiing on the hill. Haven’t even seen it. I’ve been here before, so I know this downhill pretty well. But every year you come back, you need a training run to get the timing figured out and get a feel for the rhythm of the hill.”
The Californian’s friends and family are here to see him race, which Rahvles says makes it even more disappointing. “It’s tough. You put yourself on the line, take a lot of risk, and that’s the only way to be fast. I’d rather have crashed than finish fourth place. But the injury plagues you a little longer. But I did get lucky.”
After a press conference this afternoon, Rahlves watched video of his now-famous crash for the first time. He says it was a little surprising to see how fast he spun in what he counts as one and a half rotations in a flat spin.