Klug outruns Rikardsson for third
COPPER MOUNTAIN – Missy April is not a snowboard racer. She dabbled in ski racing in college, but not anymore.
But she knows the discipline, backwards and forwards. She knows the top alpine snowboard racers sow well, she can recognize them from 200 yards away on Ptarmigan at Copper Mountain.
She knows the tactics of challenging the opponent to the point where the opponent falls. From this, she knows an aggressive rider can come from behind to win.
“You really never know with slalom racing because it’s such a head game,” said April Friday morning, as she stood at the finish of the Continental Cup parallel slalom course on Ptarmigan.
“Go Lisa,” she then screamed as two women came flying through the finish. Lisa Kosglow is a member of the U.S. Snowboard Team and won the women’s event.
Moments later, two men came flying by and she yelled, “Yeah, Greeny.” She was cheering for Jeff Greenwood, a teammate of Kosglow’s.
Then, another pair of men appeared on the crest of the course from her vantage, and she started whispering “Go, go, go, go, go.”
That’s because Chris Klug, one of America’s top alpine snowboard racers, was on course. That would be April’s boyfriend.
It would seem that Klug had a rough day Friday, falling in several of his runs and finishing third behind first-place finisher Daniel Biveson of Sweden and second-place finisher Greenwood.
But his disposition afterwards was just as shiny as that of Biveson’s.
“It was good, without a doubt, and definitely a challenging course,” Klug said after April met him about 100 yards below the finish. “Between yesterday and today I’m really happy to find my form going into the important races.”
The 2002 Winter Olympic bronze medalist won Thursday’s giant slalom.
The “important races” would be a string of World Cup races coming up in December, including dates in Sweden, British Columbia, Aspen and Telluride.
Biveson added: “It’s always good to win. Overall it was good riding. This race was against some good guys, so it’s fun.”
Klug was particularly happy to see his teammate, Greenwood, have a strong day.
“He rode well. It’s good to see him in the final round,” he said.
In an interesting rematch of yesterday’s slalom, Klug’s competition for third place was Richard Rikardsson of Sweden, who finished behind Klug Thursday.
The two finished their first run in a virtual dead-heat, pushing the competition into the final turns of the second run.
Behind Kosglow, the American women swept the podium, with Stacia Hookom of Edwards finishing second and Rosey Fletcher edging out Canadian Constance Boisvert for third.
NOTES: In alpine snowboarding, each run is timed, with the differential between two competitors being applied as a handicap to the slower rider in the second run. Whoever crosses the line first in the second run is the winner of that heat. … Yesterday’s women’s winner in the giant slalom, Michelle Gorgone, was eliminated when she slid out of the course in the quarterfinals. … To find out more about alpine snowboarding, visit Klug’s Web site at http://www.chrisklug.com.
Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at
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