Bahrke wins third World Cup event |

Bahrke wins third World Cup event

Olympic medalist Shannon Bahrke of Tahoe City and Toby Dawson of Vail, Colo., pulled off an American sweep of World Cup moguls events Saturday night in Madonna Di Campiglio, Italy, to catapult themselves into sole possession of first place in the season standings.

Olympic medalist Travis Mayer of Steamboat Springs, Colo., earned his second straight podium as seven U.S. skiers made finals.

Travis Cabral, a Sierra-at-Tahoe product, came in 14th but only trails Dawson in the World Cup standings after three events.

In the women’s event, Bahrke, who was second in the first two events of the season, nailed a heli on the first ‘air’ and threw a heli-X at the bottom for the third win of her career. She finished with 26.70 points and was followed by Norwegians Ingrid Berntsen (26.30) and Olympic and defending World Cup champion Kari Traa (25.99).

“Shannon had that flat heli on top,” said U.S. coach Donnie St. Pierre, “and she got off it the best she has all week. We’d talked with her about ‘Now’s the time, you gotta do it, you can do it,’ and she said, ‘Yup, I’m gonna nail it.’

“She kept her feet together. Kept those plastic boots together and landed it, skied away and hit her heli-X on the bottom … really good form.”

Dawson, who said he was weary of finishing fourth after just missing the podium in the first two events of the new season, exploded out of the start, drilled his first air — a heli-X — and tore trough the rest of the course, clinching the win with his signature heli-daffy-cross off the bottom air. He had 27.98 points to 26.88 for Finland’s Mikko Ronkainen with Mayer third at 26.81.

“It was awesome to hear your anthem twice during the awards,” St. Pierre said. “We’re ecstatic for Toby after all the work he’s put in. He wasn’t gonna stand for fourth place again and he put that first heli-X through the roof … he went up and you could count ‘One, one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand …’ It was so nice when they did the yellow bib presentation [for World Cup leader] and we had both athletes up there, Shannon and Toby.”

Next up is the venue in Ruka, Finland, the final pre-Christmas World Cup on Thursday. The Americans will be joined by defending World Cup champion Jeremy Bloom, who has been granted time off by University of Colorado football coach Gary Barnett so he can compete before the Buffaloes’ bowl game against Wisconsin.

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