Telemark Nationals get started with telecross
If there’s any one thing that stands out about a telecross race that can’t be found at a skiercross or boardercross, it’s the carnage.
Part of skiing in a telecross is that tele turns are mandatory in all of the banked turns.
Even the most experienced of tele skiers will argue that staying in a bent-knee tuck while skiing down an icy, hard-packed cross course is not easy, and it showed Friday morning at Copper Mountain.
The 2004 U.S. Telemark Nationals got under way Friday at Copper, and despite the unusual number of skiers who fell on the telecross course, most agreed that it was an incredible course and the event a success.
“This is the best course I’ve ever been on,” said Lorenzo Worster, who won the men’s open division.
Pete Gallup, who secured fifth place by winning the consolation round, said, “It’s sick – it’s a really fun course.”
Worster came into the event defending his title from last season.
It all came together for him on the final turn of the final run, when Scott Barady, who was leading, tripped coming around a gate in a tricky section designed to add a Nordic aspect to the race.
In a section known in telemark racing as a reipjlekke, the skiers were forced to climb between 25 and 50 feet back up the hill before turning toward the finish.
The total distance of the climbing was determined by how many turns each skier completed in the course in a traditional tele stance.
Each turn made in an alpine stance was treated as a penalty, and that particular skier was then required to climb farther back up the hill.
It was coming around one of the gates at the top of the reipjlekke that Barady fell and twisted onto his back, losing his lead to Worster and finishing fourth.
Dylan Crossman and Will Cardamone also swung around Barady and finished second and third, respectively.
In the women’s race, Vail’s Sari Chwalk walked away with the gold medal, just ahead of Andrea Krejci in second and Darcee Newt in third.
Cody Smith won the junior boys category while Ali Wade finished first in the junior girls category.
Both Smith and Wade are students at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale.
“It was so much fun today,” said Ben Dolenc of the Copper Mountain Freeride Team, who finished the telecross in seventh place.
Dolenc is favored to do well in today’s slopestyle competition, which begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Catalyst Terrain Park.
“I was watching everybody roll through the park (Friday), and it’s really cool to see all the talent,” Dolenc said.
After a halfpipe jam session at 3 p.m., the event wraps up tonight with a big air contest under the lights at 6 on Hollywood Hits at the base of Main Vein.
Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236 or at email@example.com.