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Rahlves knocked out of downhill

SAM FLICKINGER, Sun News Service

BEAVER CREEK, COLO. – Truckee’s Daron Rahlves was knocked out of Saturday’s World Championships men’s downhill following a spectacular crash on a treacherous Birds of Prey layout.

The U.S. Ski Team downhill contingent was hoping to give the hometown fans something to cheer about at Saturday’s World Championships men’s downhill. Instead, what they provided were more than a few anxious moments, including one by Rahlves.

The Truckee-based skier Rahlves, who started far back in the order and was forced to ski a course bathed in blinding flat light, fell victim to the dangerous Birds of Prey layout. Rahlves lost control of his left ski while landing the Harrier Jump. He spun around backward and hit his head on the snow before tumbling to the side of the course.

Rahlves was taken to the Steadman Hawkins Clinic after his crash, treated for a bone bruise just below his right knee and released. He was expected to be on crutches for a day and able to rejoin the World Cup circuit after the championships.

Professional downhill racer AJ Kitt, who raced on the Birds of Prey course last season during his final campaign on the World Cup, said, “There were two different races today, there was no question about that. The (Americans) didn’t perform well, but they weren’t given a chance to, either. The conditions of the snow changed as soon as the weather came in. The humidity came in, and the snow was incredibly grippy all of a sudden.”

“That’s why Daron crashed. He landed fine, but it was so grippy, and these guys have their edges prepared for really slick snow.”

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