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Oberstdorf, Germany Jan. 6, 2002 (USSA)–Less than a week after winning her Olympic berth in the U.S. Ski Team Gold Cup, Shannon Bahrke (Tahoe City, CA) went out Sunday and won her first World Cup moguls event with teammate Hannah Hardaway (Moultonborough, NH) second. Travis Ramos (South Lake Tahoe, CA) finishing third in the men’s contest.
Bahrke received 26.04 points to 25.47 for Hardaway, who hung-up her second second-place finish of the season. Ann Battelle (Steamboat Springs, CO) had her best showing of the winter, finishing fourth.
Janne Lahtela of Finland won the men’s event with 26.88 points to 26.33 for Laurant Niol of France. Ramos, who reached the third podium of his career, was third at 26.18 with Jeremy Bloom (Loveland, CO) sixth.
Bahrke did a heli-X on her top jump of Finals and a traditional helicopter on the bottom jump while Hardaway clicked with a heli up top and a double daffy on the bottom.
“Shannon skied so well. She won semis qualifying round and then Finals,” said Head Coach Jeff Wintersteen. “We were hoping that Gold Cup win would loosen her a little and something worked beautifully. Three women in the top four, pretty good day.”
At the same time, he said U.S. coaches felt “disappiointingly inconsistent” judging had the men confused about what tricks would be popular with the judges. Defending Olympic champion Jonny Moseley (Tiburon, CA) decided not to do his innovative “dinner roll” (a double rotation horizontally without letting his head dip below his skis), Wintersteen said, “and the coaches were scrambling. Athletes will adapt to situations but you have to know what the situation is and no one was sure with these judges.”
The event leaves only three World Cup moguls events remaining for skiers to reach Olympic criteria, which start with a top-3 finish. So far, apart from the Gold Cup winners, Bahrke and Travis Mayer (Steamboat Springs, CO) plus Ramos’ third Sunday, meeting the criteria are Hardaway with two seconds, and Bloom with a pair of thirds.
“The coaches don’t have to remind them but some veteran skiers are running out of time if they want to be on that Olympic Team,” Wintersteen said. “They’ve got three chances left.”
The next moguls events are Jan. 11-12 in St. Lary, France, a first-time stop on the World Cup schedule, before the final pre-Olympic selection event Jan. 19 in Lake Placid.