U.S. Ski Team update: Rahlves and crew train at Mt. Hood camp

U.S. Ski Team report

MT. HOOD, Ore. and#8212; With a course constructed down Mt. Hoodand#8217;s main run, Truckeeand#8217;s Daron Rahlves and the U.S. Freestyle Ski Cross Team met up with U.S. Snowboardingand#8217;s SBX crew Monday to get in on the on-snow action and build their terrain skills for the 2010 season.

and#8220;The goals for the camp are to progress what we worked on at Mammoth and take that in to the ski cross terrain,and#8221; U.S. Ski Cross Head Coach Tyler Shepherd said. and#8220;The SBX crew went up before us and we definitely wanted to get on the features that are similar to what Jeff Ihaksi, the Olympic course builder, builds so that we can start training on that, especially the starts.and#8221;

The course Ihaksi built for the Olympic test events last season included a difficult start feature known as a Wu-tang, which is found immediately outside the start gate and requires athletes to drop into a W-shaped series of dips.

and#8220;Getting time on the Wu-tang, which is as similar as possible to what weand#8217;ll see at the Olympics, is important so the athletes can figure out what will work best,and#8221; Shepherd said. and#8220;For skiers, itand#8217;s a unique feature we donand#8217;t see at all that eliminates the skating and polling. If we can go into the Olympics with a good amount of time through those features, weand#8217;ll have a better shot at being able to perform well.

and#8220;To get more time and repetition through those features and being able to mimic that in Hood right now is invaluable.and#8221;

For Rahlves, an X Games gold medalist, getting time on snow as well as dialing in new equipment is going to be crucial for him at Hood.

and#8220;Iand#8217;m getting some new Atomic boots, so Iand#8217;m going to use those and dial them in,and#8221; Rahlves said. and#8220;Iand#8217;m also going to focus in on starts and work on specific terrain skills. Iand#8217;m pretty much going to put all my time into skiing.and#8221;

Shepherd said the athletes will also have time to work on their fitness programs off snow and possibly fit in a few activities unique to the Hood area.

and#8220;The guys will continue to work out under their training programs,and#8221; he said. and#8220;Iand#8217;m sure weand#8217;ll also do some fun activities, like head down to Hood River and go wind surfing.and#8221;

While Rahlves is looking forward to some activities off the snow, he says that being on the terrain and putting himself in head-to-head racing situations will be the most important goal for him at the camp.

and#8220;Iand#8217;m going to be packing days full of skiing. I like to do these camps and get the most out of them,and#8221; Rahlves said. and#8220;With the terrain we have weand#8217;ll get some great training.

and#8220;Also, hopefully weand#8217;ll get some head-to-head training. Weand#8217;ve got to try and get the intensity up every time we can. We ski around each other so much and itand#8217;s good to get comfortable head-to-head.and#8221;

The team will remain in Hood for more than a week before returning to summer workouts off the snow.

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