Ramos elevates skiing going into hometown event
Travis Ramos couldn’t find it in Deer Valley, Utah, or at Mount Tremblant, Quebec. But if he’s going to find that happy medium for his mogul-skiing intensity, it might just as well be this weekend at Heavenly Ski Resort.
The 20-year-old is one of five Lake Tahoe-area bumpers who will compete in the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Grand National World Cup Friday through Sunday in his hometown.
Ramos, who missed all of last season with knee ligament damage, brings some momentum into Saturday’s bash with the world’s best bump skiers. After finishing a disappointing 32nd at Deer Valley on Jan. 8, Ramos bounced back with a score of 25.20 and a season-best 13th place Saturday at Mount Tremblant.
“So far, the thing is that I need to figure out what intensity to put in to qualify and make that second round,” said Ramos, who missed the finals by a mere three hundredths of a point on Saturday. “At Deer Valley, I was a little overamped and that caused some mistakes, and at Mount Tremblant, the opposite was true. I hope I can find a happy medium for this next event.”
Ramos, a fourth-year member of the U.S. Ski Team, overshot the landing area coming out of his double-twister spread at Deer Valley, preventing him from skiing through the course’s middle section cleanly.
“On Saturday, a lot of people said my run was good enough, but I know some points on my run that I could have improved on, and that’s why I’m not bummed at all,” Ramos said by phone between flights at Denver International Airport on Monday afternoon. “I know there is improvement to be made, and I’m very capable of making the finals.”
Ramos was the third American at Mount Tremblant, placing behind Toby Dawson of Vail, Colo., who was third, 26.78; and Ryan Riley of Steamboat Springs, Colo., 10th, 25.62. Also skiing for the Red, White and Blue were Garth Hager of Bellevue, Wash., 13th, 25.11; Evan Dybvig, Tunbridge, Vt., 17th, 25.05; and Alex Wilson, Buffalo, N.Y., 18th, 25.01.
After spending a season rehabilitating his knee, Ramos has jumped right back into the mix, winning two U.S. Freestyle Selection events at Squaw Valley USA in December before his two World Cup appearances.
“The knee is holding up wonderfully, and I definitely give a thumbs up to (Dr.) Randy Watson for fixing me up nice,” Ramos said. “It doesn’t hinder my performance in any way. The only thing is that I take better care of it at night than I have ever before.”
A U.S. team coach might have to place a blindfold over Ramos’ eyes to calm him down on Saturday, with his hometown staring up at him on Gunbarrel run.
“I’ll definitely be the most excited person out there,” Ramos said. “The hardest thing for me is to find exactly how far I can push that envelope without breaking it.”
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