Eagle-Vail's Del Bosco settles for silver in tight Winter X Games skicross final in Aspen
In the final, Del Bosco -- who races for Canada under his dual citizenship and had been hoping to become the first man to defend his ski cross title -- led for most of the way but was eventually passed by Teller and couldn't quite edge him in the final few meters. Teller's time was 1:21.16, just ahead of Del Bosco (1:21.19) and Puckett of the USA (1:21.97).
“I knew I had a chance on the last triple but I just kind of ran out of room,” said Del Bosco, who was happy to be back on the podium after winning last year. “Sometimes that's the way it goes. There's not much you can do about it.”
Teller said he had a plan and stuck to it.
“I knew exactly what I was planning on doing [in the final]. It ended up working and I came home with the win,” Teller said.
X Games gold is just another addition to Teller's historic 2011. Earlier this year he won the first ever skicross World Cup by a U.S. Ski Team member in St. Johann, Austria.
Adding to the drama of the day was the return of Puckett to Winter X skicross. The 38-year-old had walked away from the sport after eight Winter X skicross appearances, but came back just in time to take bronze.
The skiing legend seemed glad to be back at Winter X, even cheekily updating his Facebook page after a good run in qualifiers.
“I got second in qualifying,” said Puckett. “From the couch to the podium!”
Former alpine downhill star Daron Rahlves finished 9th.
In the women's skicross, Canadian Kelsey Serwa beat out French veteran Ophelie David in one of the most bizarre finishes in the history of the sport. Neck-in-neck going into the final money booter, the two got tangled on the landing and crashed over the finish line. Both arose bloodied and battered, but Serwa had slid across first and won the gold. Switzerland's Fanny Smith rounded out the podium with bronze.
“I just went for it,” said Serwa, who was left with a bloody nose and a sore back following the crash.
Looking ahead, Teller and several other Americans from Winter X are expected to compete in this week's FIS World Freestyle Ski Championships. Teller and his teammates will look to build on the American success in skicross this year as they battle the world's best.
The men's and women's skicross event will be at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, on Feb. 4.
Winter X Games
Aspen, CO – Jan. 30, 2011
1. John Teller, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 1:21.167
2. Chris Del Bosco, Canada, 1:21.197
3. Casey Puckett, Aspen, CO, 1:21.979
9. Daron Rahlves, Truckee, CA, 1:23.918
1. Kelsey Serwa, Canada, 1:28.830
2. Ophelie David, France, 1:29.162
3. Fanny Smith, Switzerland, 1:29.367
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