Locals ready to roll at Winter X Games
ASPEN, Colorado His third-place finish at the Winter X Games two years ago was anything but a fluke. And he knows it.Im due, man, said skicross rider Chris DelBosco. Ive been knocking at the door. I feel really good.Vails DelBosco hopes to feed of his recent World Cup success and climb back into the winners circle at the premier extreme winter event.At last years X Games, DelBosco was one of the top qualifiers and finished 10th after a multiple-skier crash that sent him into the woods and put him out of commission for three weeks.This year, as a member of the Canadian Olympic Ski Cross Team, DelBosco has been getting plenty of early-season racing in. Last week, DelBosco placed sixth in a World Cup skicross in Flaine, France. In his first World Cup the previous week, DelBosco was 17th.They felt pretty good, he said. They had some stocked fields over there.One advantage DelBosco is already enjoying at this years X Games is having teammates. In previous years, nearly all skicross riders were independent.Were all getting along really well and pushing each other, DelBosco said. Its nice to feed off each other and travel with good guys you get along with.On Wednesday, the athletes inspected the course, and got a in few practice runs. After another round of practice today, there will be qualification Friday with the finals taking place Sunday. Unlike almost all skicross events, which have heats of four racers, the X Games puts six skiers on the course at once.
With only six spots in the womens superpipe finals, Minturns Clair Bidez knows whats at stake in todays qualifier.Youre going to have to do really well, Bidez said. But Im healthy, and I love this pipe. Im excited to ride.In 2006, Bidez wowed the crowd, as well as herself, by sticking a move she had never even landed in practice. Bidez pulled a 900 in the finals the only rider to land the trick that year and ended up taking fourth, which many fans considered a crime.Coming into this years X Games, Bidez has an eight-place finish from the European Open in her pocket and a good amount of practice.Ive been trying to ride when I can, Bidez said. The X Games is such a good setup. Its really cool in that it brings the entire winter snow sports community together.Qualifying runs are from 10 a.m. to noon today with the finals under the lights Friday from 7:45 to 8:45 p.m.
Vails John Spriggs, notorious in the freeskiing world for his height, big hair and big moves, is healthy and ready to go. Last year on bum knee, Spriggs landed in sixth place in ski slopestyle.Spriggs has been prepping like any good freeskier would filming in the backcountry and ripping it at Vail on powder days. The ski slopestyle qualifier is Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the finals kicking off at 2:30 p.m.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.