Telemark World Championships underway in Steamboat Springs
The Steamboat Pilot
Steamboat Springs — At first glance, a telemark skiing race course looks like a fantasy, like the kind of layout a child might map out in a video game with a design feature, a giant jump in the middle of giant slalom gates and a 360-degree turn known as a “reipelykkje” waiting at the bottom.
Those features proved to be more than added curiosity, however. They helped select the medal winners on the first day of racing at the FIS Telemark World Championships in Steamboat Springs.
Tobias Mueller of Germany won the men’s sprint race, coming from fourth place after the first run to finish with a combined time of 1 minute, 42.10 seconds.
Teammate Jonas Schmid had scored the best first run and started with a nearly 1.5-second advantage on Mueller. Schmid lost control midway through the course, his legs tangling and his ski flying off, as he skidded to a stop, never fully able to regain control after that tricky jump.
He was far from the only one. The jump, midway through the course, left many a skier struggling to regain control in time to make their first gate. Skier after skier went down in clouds of snow.
Nicolas Michel of Switzerland was the men’s silver medal winner. He also won the men’s juniors gold medal.
Bastein Dayer, also of Switzerland, won the men’s bronze.
On the women’s side, Amelie Reymond of Switzerland flat out dominated, winning the gold with a combined time of 1:55.15. That was more than seven seconds better than any of her competition.
Mathilde Ilebrekke of Norway was second and Great Britain’s Jasmin Taylor third.
Locals free their heels
For local telemark skiers, it was an encouraging day, Steamboat coach Ty Upson said.
Steamboat’s Lyta Foulk, the women’s division’s youngest racer, was ninth in the elite class and fifth in the junior class. Fellow Steamboater Madi McKinstry was right on her free heels, finishing 11th and fifth.
Sarah Carley was 15th and 10th, and Taylor Finn was 11th in the juniors race.
Cory Snyder was the top U.S. men’s finisher, placing 11th. Steamboat teenager Tanner Visnick was 13th and Jeffrey Gay 17th. Birk Larsen was 23rd, Brendan Durum 25th, Larry Bosche 30th and Charlie Dresen 32nd.
Summit County skier Tommy Gogolen skied the first run but withdrew with an injury.
Visnick was seventh in the men’s juniors race and Durum 14th.
“My skiing was pretty good today, but I could have been more aggressive in spots,” Visnick said. “I was a little too conservative on the jump and had a few too many penalties.”
He was penalized for not jumping far enough and again for not making a true tele turn in the first gate after the jump.
Michel won the men’s juniors race while France’s Guillaume Issautier and Norway’s Lasse Skoere rounded out the podium.
“I told them, ‘This is World Championships. You don’t ski to finish,’” Upson said. “‘You throw down, crash or whatever, but you go full tilt, 100 percent. This is our Olympics.
”They turned it up today,” Upson added.
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