Rahlves, Miller feed off each other | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Rahlves, Miller feed off each other

By Jeremy Evans

Tribune staff writer

MAMMOTH LAKES – Other than Daron Rahlves’ super-G title on Saturday, neither he nor Bode Miller made much noise at the 2005 Oroweat U.S. Alpine National Championships. The two biggest men’s stars on the U.S. Ski Team and two of the world’s top skiers were more concerned about testing out new equipment for next season than logging more impressive results.

Despite the modest performances at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Rahlves said when the two racers are around each other, they bring out the best in one another.

“It definitely helps both of us because we’re always two skiers going at it hard,” said the 32-year-old Rahlves. “If you don’t have another guy that’s competitive with you, you lose motivation sometimes to train. You start thinking about not training gates and going out and freeskiing a little bit.

“But when you have a guy like Bode, who’s always focusing and trying to put down the fastest run of the day, that kind of brings the intensity up.”

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This season, Miller became the first American male skier since 1983 to win the World Cup overall. Rahlves, meanwhile, tied with Miller for the World Cup Finals’ super-G title last month in Switzerland and finished fifth in the World Cup standings. It was a nice way to end the winter, Rahlves said, but it didn’t negate months of so-so results.

“Bode had a great season, but I wasn’t really satisfied with mine,” Rahlves said. “Some highlights were the GS, finishing third in the worlds was pretty sweet. Now I kind of know I have some good skills in GS. That’s what I’m kind of psyched about.

“But this season was really up and down. I wanted to win a downhill title and be consistently up there. I had too many fifths and sixths this year. I wasn’t on the podium that much.”

At Mammoth, Rahlves was testing out new Atomic gear for next season. In fact, he didn’t race on any skis that he used during the World Cup circuit. He said that probably contributed to his slow times, save for Saturday’s super-G national title, which was his seventh career U.S. title.

Rahlves also was the 2003 World Cup super-G champion.

“That’s why I’m doing all this booting test right now,” Rahlves said. “I want to improve for next season. My turns when it’s steep and icy and fast, I’m fine. But once it gets to slower speeds and really grippy, soft snow, I’m having problems.”

OLN to televise championships

Viewers can watch South Shore’s Jonna Mendes and North Shore’s Julia Mancuso and Daron Rahlves win their respective downhill, giant slalom and super-G titles later this week. Outdoor Life Network will broadcast coverage from 2005 U.S. Alpine Championships on Saturday starting at 7 p.m.

Tahoe men finish up at nationals

Squaw Valley’s Greg Bartels finished 16th in Tuesday’s giant slalom (2:47.95) and Kirkwood’s Errol Kerr placed 53rd (2:53.90). Squaw Valley’s Travis Ganong had a didn’t start in his second run of the race.