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X Games: Rahlves qualifies seventh for ski cross finals; Puckett still sore


Daron RahlvesASPEN, Colo. (Jan. 29) – Conditions couldn’t have been better for today’s X Games ski cross qualifiers on Buttermilk Mountain. Blue bird skies and a buffed course gave both men and women racers a chance to scope out what the athletes called the best course they see all season. 

Unlike the competition runs, when six racers charge the course at once (four at World Cup events), skiers have the course to themselves for qualifying. The men had two chances to qualify for Sunday’s final. If they didn’t make the top 28 of the first run, racers got a second chance if they could make the top six of an additional run.

Canadian Christopher Del Bosco had the fastest men’s qualifying time ahead of teammates Brady Leman and Dave Duncan in second and third, respectively.

Former alpine great, American Daron Rahlves was all smiles in the finish area with the seventh-fastest time.

“This course is awesome, these guys have built it up better than any other year I’ve seen it,” said Rahlves who won an X Games gold medal here in 2008.  “I was really surprised in that qualifying run, I had so much speed. These boards are flying.”

Rahlves’ only Olympic Team colleague, Casey Puckett, who continues to rehab a sore shoulder her injured in early December, awkwardly hit a jump and skied off the course wincing in pain and clutching his shoulder. With his injured shoulder, Puckett came to the X Games only to train for the Vancouver Games where he will make his fifth Winter Olympic appearance in the sport’s Olympic debut.

The women’s qualifying run served only to decide heat and gate positions as all 11 racers will race Sunday.

France’s Ophelie David had the fastest qualifying time, earning her pick of a starting gate in Sunday’s semifinal. Canadians Kelsey Serwa and Ashleigh McIvor qualified second and third, respectively.

American Caitlin Ciccone, at her first X Games, qualified seventh for the 11-woman final.

The men’s and women’s ski cross final will air live on ESPN on Sunday starting at 10 a.m. MST. – Eric Williams

Men

Name                                      Bib No.           Hometown                             Time
1.         Chris Del Bosco                         766                   Vail, Colo.                                 1:28.724
2.         Brady Leman                             772                   Calgary, AB, Canada                 1:29.037
3.         Dave Duncan                            656                   Golden, BC, Canada                  1:29.195
4.         Audun Groenvold                      778                   Hamar, Norway                          1:29.719
5.         John Teller                                624                   Mammoth Lakes, Calif.              1:29.765
6.         Xavier Kuhn                              796                   Megeve, France                        1:30.057
7.         Daron Rahlves                          780                   Truckee, Calif.                           1:30.133
8.         Stanley Hayer                            763                   Calgary, AB, Canada                 1:30.154
9.         Errol Kerr                                  761                   Truckee, Calif.                           1:30.465
10.        Enak Gavaggio                         774                   Bourg St. Maurice, France         1:30.547
11.        Davey Barr                                760                   Whistler, BC, Canada                 1:30.987
12.        Andreas Steffen                        764                   Gstaad, Switzerland                   1:31.291
13.        Sylvain Miaillier                         777                   Alpe D’Huez, France                  1:31.371
14.        Armin Niederer                          771                   Klosters, Switzerland                 1:31.440
15.        Olivier Fabre                             762                   Alpe D’Huez, France                  1:31.624
16.        Brian Bennett                            779                   Quesnel, BC, Canada             &nb
sp;  1:31.766
17.        Ted Piccard                              770                   Les Saisies, France                   1:31.947
18.        Patrick Gasser                           627                   Fruitigen, Switzerland                 1:32.248
19.        Nick Zoricic                               795                   Toronto, ON, Canada                 1:32.472
20.        Biche Rudigoz                           757                   Ketchum, Idaho                         1:33.900
21.        Eric Andersson                         781                   Nora, Sweden                           1:33.934
22.        Tomas Kraus                             784                   Decin, Czech Republic               1:51.094

Women
Name                          Bib No.           Hometown                                         Time
1.         Ophelie David               745                   Alpe D’Huez, France                              1:36.745
2.         Kelsey Serwa                747                   Kelowna, BC, Canada                            1:36.796
3.         Ashleigh McIvor            746                   Whistler, BC, Canada                             1:37.263
4.         Fanny Smith                  749                   Villars-Gryon, Switzerland                      1:37.282
5.         Marte Gjefsen               169                   Lillehammer, Norway                              1:38.015
6.         Aleisha Cline                 743                   Whistler, BC, Canada                             1:38.937
7.         Caitlin Ciccone              797                   Wilson, Wyo.                                        1:39.137
8.         Danielle Poleschuk        787                   Calgary, AB, Canada                             1:39.835
9.         Gro Kvinlog                  799                   Hemsedal, Norway                                1:40.200
10.        Clara Marsan                 170                   Innsbruck, Austria                                  1:41.415
11.        Magdalena Jon
sson      750                   Nora, Sweden                                       5:50.000

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