Downhiller Daron Rahlves takes second in World Cup Ski Cross

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 5, 2010 3:25 pm

Former downhill champ turned U.S. Freestyle Ski Team athlete, Daron Rahlves took the silver medal in the World Cup ski cross event in St. Johann, Austria today. Rahlves had joked that the team switch (from alpine to freestyle) was “unfortunate” when we teased him about it last month at Beaver Creek, but clearly, the Tahoe skier is becoming a top ‘dogger.

“Daron had some of his best starts to date, hands down,” U.S. Ski Cross coach Tyler Shepherd told reporters. “Like I’ve said from the beginning, you get him out front, people won’t catch him, and he showed that tonight in the first two heats. (Rahlves won both.) In the final, Daron had to break out some of his injection know-how and make some awesome passes to move from fourth to third, and then to second.”

Rahlves’ teammate and former alpine compatriot Casey Puckett (who was actually a tech skier and not a speed specialist like Rahlves) finished 13th after being eliminated in the quarterfinals. “Casey ran into some typical ski cross action in his quarterfinal and narrowly avoided getting taken out by another skier,” said Shepherd. “He lost a photo finish decision by a narrow margin.”

Germany’s Simon Stickl took the gold with Canadian David Duncan claiming third. On the women’s side, there wasn’t much of a surprise when longtime leader Ophelie David of France won the top spot on the podium for the 21st time in her career. French teammate Meryll Boulangeat took the silver and Canadian Julia Murray nabbed the bronze.