(From the US Ski Team)
OBERSTDORF, Germany (Dec. 18) - Olympic medalist Travis Mayer (Steamboat Springs, CO) finished second Sunday, leading three U.S. men into the top five while Jillian Vogtli (Ellicotville, NY), led U.S. women, placing fifth in wet, snowy weather.
In the second meet of the season - following Wednesday's opener in Tignes, France, Australian Dale Begg-Smith won the men's contest with 25.69 points and Mayer took second at 25.31, connecting with a D-spin (off-axis) up top and quad-twister off the bottom jump. In addition, defending World Cup champion Jeremy Bloom (Loveland, CO) was fourth with 2003 World Cup champion Travis Cabral (South lake Tahoe, CA) fifth.
"It was a brutal competition, said U.S. Head Coach Jeff Wintersteen. "We never got to train once we got here, and then we had an hour on the course this morning, so it's definitely been a tough week.
Still, he said, U.S. skiers were 1-2-3 in the men's field after the qualifying round with Mayer first, Bloom second and Nate Roberts (Park City, UT), the reigning moguls world champion, third. "But 'T-Mayer' had a couple of small mistakes at the top, and Jeremy had a couple, and that was all it took. Still, give the Australians credit - I've felt for a long time that Dale's been under-scored, and today he got some good recognition, as did Michael (Robertson, his teammate).
In the women's event, defending World Cup champion Jennifer Heil handily won, receiving 25.86 points - more than a point and a half ahead of teammate Kristi Richards. Vogtli clicked with a heli off the top jump and a backflip at the bottom to take fifth (22.67).
"It was a day, because of the conditions, where a lot of the skiers had problems, and where a lot just cut back on their jumps to twisters, especially at the bottom, to make sure they landed 'em, Wintersteen explained. "It's a little frustrating because we know we still have the best team out there, but we don't have the results...but you also can feel things building.
The tour heads to North America after the new year with a Jan. 7-8 visit to Mont Tremblant, Que., outside Montreal. Then it's on to two stops as part of USSA's 10 Weeks to Torino series of major competitions as part of the Olympic selection: the Chevrolet Freestyle International Jan. 13-14 at Deer Valley, Utah, and the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup Jan. 20-22 in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Results]FREESTYLE WORLD CUP
Oberstdorf, GER - Dec. 18, 2005
Moguls (16 make finals)
1. Dale Begg-Smith, Australia, 25.69 points
2. Travis Mayer, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 25.31
3. Michael Robertson, Australia, 24.83
4. Jeremy Bloom, Loveland, Colo., 23.99
5. Travis Cabral, South Lake Tahoe, Calif., 23.69
7. Toby Dawson, Vail, Colo., 23.50
14. Nate Roberts, Park City, Utah, 16.65
19. Luke Westerlund, Breckenridge, Colo.
61. David Babic, Washington, Vt.
1. Jennifer Heil, Canada, 25.86
2. Kristi Richards, Canada, 24.21
3. Nikola Sudova, Czech Republic, 23.85
4. Kari Traa, Norway, 23.79
5. Jillian Vogtli, Ellicotville, N.Y., 22.67
7. Laurel Shanley, Squaw Valley, Calif., 21.84
12. Shannon Bahrke, Tahoe City, Calif., 17.26
15. Michelle Roark, Denver, 13.39
30. Hannah Kearney, Norwich, Vt.
35. Emiko Torito, Denver
For complete results and World Cup standings: