Rahlves is golden in Colorado | SierraSun.com

Rahlves is golden in Colorado

Nathan Bilow/APDaron Rahlves of Truckee crosses the finish line in first place as Stanley Hayer from Canada comes in second during the skiercross final on Sunday.

Truckee’s Daron Rahlves made a point of “putting some miles” on his custom Atomic SX skis this past month, knowing the extra fine-tuning could make the difference between victory and disappointment at Winter X Games 12.

The preparation paid off on Sunday, as Rahlves jumped out to an early lead and held off Canadian Stanley Hayer and Aspen local Casey Puckett to win his first-ever Winter X skiercross gold.

“I just wanted it, I wanted it really bad,” Rahlves said in a TV interview immediately after the race. “There’s a lot of room to make passes. I got up in the lead pretty quick, which is nice, and the whole time I just tried to work it, stay low and go fast.

“You never know when some guy’s going to get in your draft and pass. I had to step it up.”

Nearing the finish line, it was Hayer who got in Rahlves’ draft.

With the Canadian hot on his heels, Rahlves boosted off the penultimate tabletop jump ” the one on which several competitors wiped out in qualifying races ” muscled out a hard landing at the bottom of the transition and raced toward the final booter.

Hayer also landed cleanly, and the two racers launched off the final jump in succession.

Balanced and composed as he sailed through the air, Rahlves returned to earth a full ski length in front of Hayer, pointing to the sky as he sped across the finish line in a crouch ” just .22 seconds ahead of Hayer.

Rookie Errol Kerr, also of Truckee, finished fifth in the skiercross final, while Michael Schmid of Switzerland was fourth and Tomas Kraus from the Czech Republic sixth.

As soon as Rahlves skidded to a halt, Truckee snowboarder Nate Holland ” winner of the boardercross competition on Saturday ” sprinted into the picture and wrapped up the three-time Olympian in a celebratory hug.

Rahlves talked the ESPN reporter through his final run, then added as she pulled away the microphone:

“One more thing. That’s another gold for Truckee.”

– Nate Holland, Truckee: 1st men’s boardercross final

– Daron Rahlves, Truckee: 1st men’s skiercross final

– Errol Kerr, Truckee: 5th men’s skiercross final

– Anik Demers-Wild, Truckee: 4th (DNQ) women’s skiercross semifinal

– Chas Guldemond, Truckee: 6th men’s snowboard slopestyle final, 16th (DNQ) snowboard superpipe qualifier

– Pat Holland, Tahoe City: DNF men’s boardercross final

– Sean Field, Tahoe City: 8th men’s skier superpipe final

– Tanner Rainville, Squaw Valley: 7th men’s skier slopestyle final

– Andy Finch, Truckee: 17th (DNQ) men’s snowboard superpipe qualifier

– Kimmy Fasani, Truckee/Mammoth: DNQ women’s snowboard slopestyle qualifier

No results posted:

Ralph Backstrom (Squaw Valley), Mike Goldschmidt (Truckee), Kirsten Harris (Olympic Valley), Danny Davis (Truckee), Jayson Hale (Sierraville)

For complete results from Winter X Games 12, visit expn.go.com/expn/index.

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