McNeal Leads US In Flaine WC
FLAINE, France (Jan. 16) - Langely McNeal (Ketchum, ID) led U.S. skiers Monday in a snowy World Cup ski cross race. McNeal finished 23rd. Casey Puckett (Snowmass, CO), who was second in last weekend's opener, got knocked out in qualifying.
Meryl Boulangeat of France won her second straight women's race and leads the World Cup standings. Boulangeat was followed by Jenny Owens of Austria in second and Noriko Fukushima of Japan in third.
Newcomer Errol Kerr (Truckee, CA) led U.S. men at 28th followed by Jake Fiala (Frisco, CA) at 29th. Kerr and Fiala were both a part of the final 32 which Tomas Kraus of the Czech Republic won, marking his second ski cross World Cup win in a row.
"Today was not so much bad luck but battling weather," Head Coach Tyler Shepherd said. "There were a lot of factors but everyone has to deal with the same course. This course wasn't conducive to passing and whoever led out the start pretty much led the whole way, and that's unfortunate because we like to see passing."
According to Shepherd, Puckett, who is currently fourth in the World Cup ski cross standings, "had a huge mistake during his individual qualifying round. He washed out on a turn and ended up coming to a complete stop."
The skiers will now head back to the states to compete in the X Games ski cross Jan. 23-27.
FIS Freestyle World Cup
Flaine, France - Jan. 16, 2008
1. Tomas Kraus, Czech Republic
2. Enak Gavaggio, France
3. Richard Spalinger, Switzerland
4. Tommy Eliasson, Sweden
5. Lars Lewen, Sweden
28. Errol Kerr, Truckee, CA
29. Jake Fiala, Frisco, CA
40. Cody Smith, Spokane, WA
56. JJ Johnson, Park City, UT
89. Casey Puckett, Snowmass, CO
1. Meryl Boulangeat, France
2. Jenny Owens, Austria
3. Noriko Fukushima, Japan
4. Sasa Faric, Slovakia
5. Ashleigh McIvor, Canada
23. Langely McNeal, Ketchum, ID