Truckee boarders soar at Vans Triple Crown
SIERRA-AT-TAHOE – Truckee’s Jim Rippey and Jessica Dalpiaz stomped out a second-place finish to lead area boarders in the big air finals of the Vans Triple Crown Series Sunday at Sierra-at-Tahoe.
Rippey kept his boldest moves hidden until the third round before popping a score 35.3 to finish behind winner Jessie Burtner of Seattle.
Burtner wasted no time taking control of the men’s competition as he stuck a cab 900 double grab for a winning score of 37.1.
“It’s great to have won here at Sierra-at-Tahoe,” Burtner said. “I did well all weekend, so it was nice that I took that momentum into the finals and I came up big.”
Only .2 of a point separated Rippey from the fourth-place finisher. Steven Simmons of Running Springs, Calif., came in third with 35.2, and Mammoth’s Rahm Klampert wound up fourth at 35.1.
France’s Pauline Richon also made it happen on her first jump in the finals, nailing a backside 360 tailgrab for the top score of 31.2. The lead stood up as none of the other competitors could top the 30-point barrier, even though Dalpiaz uncorked a 29.9.
“I’m sore all over from qualifying, so I didn’t know what to expect (Sunday),” said Richon, who also topped qualifying. “I’m just glad I hung on to the first jump and won.”
Saturday’s boardercross finals were moved up a day. Kelly Clark ran away with the women’s title, as she landed a mctwist on her second run for a 37.4.
“I was looking to put up a consistent run of straight airs to start, so I could throw something big on my second and third runs,” Clark said. “Once I saw my first-run score, I knew I had to try a mctwist on my second run and I’m just glad I pulled it off.”
The next-closest riders were Tricia Byrnes and Doriane Vidal at 30.7. Byrnes, however, was awarded with second place because her second-best run was better than Vidal’s.
Lake Tahoe put three boarders in the top 10. Paige Warner of Incline Village was fifth, Autumn Rose of Olympic Valley sixth and Holly Lyons of Olympic Valley in eighth.
While the women’s finals lacked intrigue, the men’s finals came down to a .1 of a point.
Norway’s Daniel Franck landed a dazzling mctwist for a 37.3, edging Switzerland’s Gian Simmen, who scored 37.2 on his first run. Franck earned $10,000.
“Gian had a great first run, which pushed me to do better than him in round two,” Franck said.
The final weekend had no impact on the races to determine the overall champions. Xavier DeLeRue, who won two of the series’ three boardercross events, took the men’s title and collected a 2001 Ford Ranger. Line Osetvold won a trip for two to the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing in Hawaii by leading all the women.
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Several Truckee-Tahoe skiers will vie for Olympic medals next month.