Eagle-Vail’s Del Bosco finishes No. 2 in the world | VailDaily.com

Eagle-Vail’s Del Bosco finishes No. 2 in the world

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SIERRA NEVADA, Spain – Skicross racers are always in a hurry, and they were even more so on Friday.

In advance of a storm in Spain, the World Cup moved up its final skicross event of the season one day to Friday, and Canada’s Chris Del Bosco, a dual-citizen from Eagle-Vail, finished fourth to lock up the No. 2 ranking in the world for 2009-10 season. Del Bosco also helped the Great White North earn the honor of being the top skicross nation for the third year in a row.

Switzerland’s Michael Schmid clinched up the skicross globe last week and finished with 815 points, followed by Del Bosco (547) and Norway’s Audun Groenvold (530). Completing his third season on the World Cup tour, Del Bosco, 27, has firmly established himself as one of the best in the emerging sport.

Skicross got a huge boost this season from being included in the Olympics for the first time. In part, that popularity stemmed from Del Bosco’s performance in the finals. He was in the bronze-medal position but went for gold, resulting in a spectacular crash.

While finishing out of the medals was a bitter pill for Del Bosco, he actually turned into a folk hero of sorts when during the post-race press conference, “I left it all out there. That’s what I came to do. It could have happened in any of the other rounds, maybe. I made it to the final and, I don’t know, I just, I go for it. Some people are happy with just placing, and I’m not one of those people.”

While a medal eluded Del Bosco at the Olympics, he was no stranger to the podium in 2009-10. He won his second and third World Cup events in Alpe d’Huez, France, and Lake Placid, N.Y., in January. Before taking fourth Friday, he won three straight medals this month – one silver and two bronzes – for five World Cup podiums in all.

And, by the way, while not an official World Cup event, he also struck gold at the X Games in Aspen in January.

Missing out on Olympic gold and the World Cup globe just gives Del Bosco motivation for next year. At 27, he is one of the youngest racers on tour.

Nationals start today

WHITEFACE, N.Y. – Alpine ski-racing season isn’t over yet, kids.

The U.S. Alpine National Championships start today with men’s and women’s super-G in Lake Placid, N.Y.

More important on the local level, the women’s slalom (also men’s) is on Sunday. After the men’s giant slalom on Monday, the women’s GS is Tuesday. And all that means that Vail’s Sarah Schleper’s ready to go.

Schleper tuned up for nationals with consecutive second-place finishes this week on the Nor-Am tour. Wednesday, she finished behind fellow Olympian Canadian Marie-Michelle Gagnon and ahead of Americans like Jessica Kelley and Stacey Cook in a GS in Waterville Valley, N.H.

In Thursday’s slalom in New Hampshire, Schleper was just 27-hundredths of a second off the pace set by Gagnon. Schleper finished second in last year’s national slalom in Aleyska, Alaska. She’s won three national championships in her career -two in slalom and one in GS.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.

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