2010 Olympics watch: Errol Kerr sharp in tune-up race
NORDEN, Calif. and#8212; Errol Kerr said winning was not a priority when competing in this week’s FIS Nor-Am Cup skicross races at Sugar Bowl.
and#8220;It’s about going through the motions and getting it down like clockwork,and#8221; the Truckee Olympic-bound skier and#8212; and lone member of the Jamaica Ski Team and#8212; said before his quarterfinal heat Wednesday.
Then he went ahead and won his Olympic tune-up anyway.
and#8220;It’s the first one I’ve actually straight-out won in a long time,and#8221; said Kerr, who captured the win ahead of Canadians Stan Rey and David Holmes in the final. and#8220;and#8230; You’re only as good as your last race, so, I feel pretty good about that.and#8221;
Kerr took fifth Tuesday in the first of back-to-back, sanctioned skicross races hosted by Sugar Bowl. Enak Gavaggio of France won Tuesday’s race, and was followed by American John Teller and Ted Piccard of France.
On the women’s side, Fanny Smith of Switzerland won on both days. Opheliae David of France finished runner-up Tuesday, and Marion Josserund of France was third. Canadian racers Marielle Thompson and Catriona Blair rounded out the podium on Wednesday.
Both Kerr and Truckee racer Scott Horn gave a thumbs up to the new skicross course on Mt. Judah’s Tunnel 41 trail, which was complete with banked turns, rollers and a wide array of jumps and#8212; and is now slated to be de-tuned and opened for public use.
and#8220;This course is probably one of the best courses we’ve skied all year,and#8221; said Horn, a good friend of Kerr’s who’s racing for the first year on the World Cup circuit. and#8220;Every course has its hard section, and with this course it’s the hip. But they worked it out (Wednesday) and it’s running really sweet. From top to bottom there’s action, and it’s fast and a lot of fun.and#8221;
Kerr, who led every heat en route to the win Wednesday, agreed.
and#8220;I like it. It’s fun,and#8221; said Kerr, adding that he looks forward to helping build and then train on a skicross course at Alpine Meadows, his home mountain, in the next week. and#8220;There are some features here that are pretty cool.and#8221;
About all that was missing during the two days of racing was Sugar Bowl ski ambassador Daron Rahlves, who is recuperating at his Truckee home after dislocating his hip in a nasty crash suffered Jan. 31 at the X Games.
U.S. Skicross Head Coach Tyler Shepherd, who was on hand to watch the races and prepare for a Feb. 13-17 U.S. Olympic Camp at Sugar Bowl, said Rahlves will be healthy and ready to compete when skicross debuts at the Vancouver Games on Feb. 21.
and#8220;Daron is doing really well. He’s progressing,and#8221; Shepherd said. and#8220;They did an excellent job of taking care of the injury in Aspen. And now it’s just heads down going through treatment, get the job done with that, and then he’s going to be ready to go for Vancouver.
and#8220;He’s a very tough guy,and#8221; Shepherd continued. and#8220;Both he and (U.S. teammate) Casey (Puckett) are going through the recovering process really well. … These guys are tough guys. They’ve been around it for awhile. You’ve got to take a licking and keep on ticking.and#8221;