Hernandez, Ramos may not compete; Bumps and Jumps Notes
An aching back and a sore ankle may reduce some of Papa John’s Bumps & Jumps’ local appeal on Saturday at Heavenly Ski Resort.
But Chris Hernandez, the aching back, and Ramos, the sore ankle, won’t decide their availability for Saturday’s moguls competition on Gunbarrel Run until after training Friday afternoon.
“It’s nothing serious, but my back is sore from skiing moguls six days a week for the last six weeks,” said the 22-year-old Hernandez, who has two top-10 World Cup finishes in 2001.
Ramos’ ankle injury also isn’t serious, but he, like Hernandez, doesn’t want to jeopardize the rest of his season by competing at less than 100 percent.
“Because of the events coming after Bumps & Jumps that are really important for qualifying for the Olympics, I want to make sure I’m healthy for those,” Ramos said.
Ramos’ post-Bumps & Jumps schedule includes the World Cup Finals March 9-11 in Himos, Finland, and the U.S. Nationals March 16-18 in Waterville Valley, N.H.
Hernandez finished seventh in last year’s Bump & Jumps, but as much as he’d like to better that performance, he is mindful of a larger stage ahead.
“If I miss it, I’ll have to miss it,” Hernandez said. “I want to ski my best and win in front of my home crowd, but I have to compete at nationals and I need to be healthy. I don’t need to beat myself up two weeks before that and wreck my chances of winning there.”
Hernandez tested his back during training Thursday, but steered clear of the jumps.
“I’ll jump (Friday) and see how it goes. I’m sure I’ll be fine,” Hernandez said.
Jonny Moseley, the 1998 Winter Games moguls gold medalist, won’t compete, according to Hernandez.
“He told me he’s not coming up. He’s having back problems and his is worse than mine,” Hernandez said.
Ramos finally made his Bumps & Jumps home debut last year, finishing 14th. Injuries and scheduling conflicts have prevented him from competing in the past.
“It’s like trying to catch a unicorn trying to compete in this Bumps & Jumps in Tahoe,” Ramos said.
Travis Cabral, the South Shore’s third entrant, is healthy and will compete.
However, providing Saturday’s morning qualifying round goes as expected, the afternoon round of 16 will mark his duals debut this season.
“I’m definitely one of the fastest skiers in World Cup, but I haven’t done duals in a long time,” Cabral said. “There’s a different mindset in duals, because you have a guy right next to your or hopefully behind you and it pushes you harder. You have to gage your speed and not go too fast and blow out.”
Canadians Steve Omischl and Nicolas Fontaine share the aerials overall lead going into Friday’s final event.
Fontaine rebounded from a fifth-place finish in the opening event at Steamboat to win at Lake Placid. Omischl has been consistent with second- and fourth-place performances.
Bulgaria’s Dmitri Dashinski only trails the Canadians by a point and won the series opener.
The top American contender is Joe Pack, who was third in Steamboat. Pack is fifth overall, four points off the lead.
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