Eagle-Vail’s Del Bosco wins third World Cup | VailDaily.com

Eagle-Vail’s Del Bosco wins third World Cup

Canada's Christopher Delbosco (wearing red), leads Conradign Netzer, left, of Switzerland, Hiroomi Takizawa, right, of Japan, and Egor Korotkov, of Russia, in a qualifying heat in men's skicross during World Cup freestyle skiing in Wilmington, N.Y., on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

WILMINGTON, N.Y. – That – knock wood – should really do it.

The official invitations forthe American and Canadian freestyle, alpine and snowboard teams come out today, but Eagle-Vail skicross racer Chris Del Bosco all but sealed his spot for the Olympics in in Vancouver, British Columbia, with his third career World Cup win Sunday in Wilmington, N.Y.

“It’s definitely eased my mind,” Del Bosco said. “I wish I had a few better results earlier in the season. I knew I was skiing well. I just hadn’t had the luck. I knew I had to keep pushing. It really eased my mind to finish with a good race.”

Making the math simple

The selection process for the Canadian Freestyle Team – Del Bosco, who lives in Eagle-Vail, but has dual citizenship – has come under immense scrutiny in the last few months. It does not use World Cup points.

By points, there was no question Del Bosco was bound for Vancouver. He was second in the world last season, and sixth this year before Sunday’s win – he jumped to third with the victory.

Complicating matters for Del Bosco was that his second World Cup win – a weather-shortened affair in Alpe d’Huez, France, on Jan. 13 – counted according to FIS, but not according to Team Canada.

Though there are many permutations, the Canadians are taking their top 18 freestylers regardless of discipline – aerials, moguls and skicross – or gender (though there may be no more than 10 males or females) based on an athlete’s best four results dating back to last season. Two of those four results also must be from this season.

Given the strength of the Canadian Freeskiing Team in aerials, moguls and skicross, there will be some good athletes staying home.

“All three disciplines have really strong teams,” Del Bosco said. “We have skiers in disciplines battling against each other. But it’s just how it was. You knew what you had to do. I think we may have a couple more people (qualified) after this race (in skicross). It’s just one of those things that’s out of your control. You just try to continue to ski. Maybe, down the road, they’ll revisit it and skicross can have separate quotas.”

Del Bosco likely made the math pretty simple Sunday – 1-1-2-6 looks good. With his win Sunday, his resume looks quite nice. From 2008-09, his qualifying results are a win at Mount Cypress, British Columbia, the skicross venue for February’s Games, and one of his three second-place finishes last season. For this season, he has Sunday’s win and a sixth in Les Contamines, France.

Hit the hole

Leaving the Olympic machinations behind, Del Bosco’s been letting his skis do his talking. After a rough start with 24th- and 39th-place finishes in Italy to start the season, his results have been trending upward nicely.

In his last five races, he’s been in the top 10 four times, and in that fifth race, he was 11th. He seems to be re-establishing the stunning consistency head had last season, finishing in the top 10 in nine of the 10 World Cup events contested.

“Any athlete wants to be peaking at the right time, whatever the sport,” Del Bosco said. “I’d rather win every race, but I’ve just been working hard. I’ve been taking each race and trying to put it together.”

The hole shot, or quick start out of the gates with three other skiers on course, is critical. On a straight course for skicross in Wilmington, it was pretty much the race. Del Bosco consistently got out of the gate and let his skis run.

In the finals, he bested the world’s No. 1, Austria’s Andreas Matt, Canadian teammate David Duncan and Daron Rahlves. And, yes, that’s the same guy who used to be on the U.S. Alpine Team.

“I knew my skis were fast,” Del Bosco said. “I’m a pretty big guy and I let it go down the flats. I got the hole shot, had a clean race and put the hammer down.”

And that leaves Del Bosco waiting for today’s announcement to make it official.

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

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