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Moseley bumpin’ better than anyone

Ryan Jones

There is no better mogul skier in the world right now than Jonny Moseley.

Moseley, from Olympic Valley, has cut the number of open Olympic Team spots up for grabs for men from four to three after catching fire on the World Cup circuit, winning twice in as many days.

Moseley – who, along with national team member Curtis Tischler of Reno, hosts the annual two-day Moseley-Tischler Bumps Clinic at Squaw Valley U.S.A. today – had the best two-day stretch of his five-year World Cup career in La Plagne, France.

South Shore U.S. Team members and Olympic hopefuls Travis Ramos, Chris Hernandez and Brooke Ballachey will be among area athletes competing during the Squaw event.

A product of the Squaw Valley Freestyle Team, Moseley won the second World Cup competition of the season Friday and came back to win the third stop, also at La Plagne, Saturday.

Originally set to be a dual moguls event, the second day at La Plagne was rescheduled for singles after three skiers blew-out knees in a dual event earlier in the season, Moseley said. Skiers often push themselves harder in the head-to-head format and Olympic coaches were weary of further injuries with the Olympics about six weeks away.

The change to singles gave the 22-year-old a chance to keep his tour dominance rolling, sitting atop the World Cup standings with 296 points, 60 more than second-place Jean-Luc Brassard of Canada. Moseley was second in the season opener at Tignes, France.

After a summer of rigorous workouts on and off the snow in preparation for the fast-approaching Olympics which start Feb. 7, Moseley said he is skiing better now than he ever has in his productive career.

“For sure,” the native of Tiburon said Monday during a break at Squaw bumps clinic. “All the training is starting to click, it’s coming together. A lot of maturity combined with experience has really helped.

“When I’m in the gate, I can really feel the five years of World Cup experience is there.”

In each of the events, Moseley led after the qualifying run and was the last to ski in the final round, putting down strong runs to ice the titles. Where things like hearing other competitors scores announced or not being able to listen to a certain song before a big run would rattle him in the past, Moseley said sky high confidence now enables him to overcome any pre-race stress.

“Consistency is a hard thing to get, especially after winning the semifinals (qualifying),” Moseley said. “When I get in the gate, superstitions, not hearing music or hearing the other scores don’t bother me. …I don’t have to do anything special to prepare myself. I’m at ease, relaxed, and I’m able to perform.

“It used to be stress. Now it’s just pressure. Pressure is good. Stress is bad. That (pre-race stress) is what I tried to cure all summer.”

Moseley’s score of 26.28 on Friday bumped Jeff Cusson of Canada (25.89) into second. Stephane Rochon of Canada was third with 25.39 and countryman Brassard finished fourth with 25.23.

Moseley – who was the only American man to crack the top 10 on either day – edged Fabrice Ougier of France 26.72-26.55 for the victory Saturday. Lauri Lassilia of Finland was third with 25.74.

With three more World Cup moguls stops before the Olympics – the next being at Mt. Tremblant in Quebec, Canada, Jan. 9-11 – Moseley said he thinks about a possible injury now more than ever. But he is also quick to add that he is constantly working hard to improve his technique and has no plans to significantly slow down.

“I’m not going to take any events off or ease up to save myself,” Moseley said. “If you know you have a run in you that is good enough to win, it’s just a matter of the pressure to perform. There’s no stress.”

The Moseley-Tischler clinic is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., with an afternoon session after lunch in which Moseley is expected to ski a couple demonstration runs.


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