Ramos regains World Cup spot under his own terms
Travis Ramos made a risky decision over the summer that left him off the the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team.
Declining to attend all of the team’s off-season camps so he could train on his own, the four-year veteran of the U.S. team was banished from the squad.
As a result, the 21-year-old from South Lake Tahoe was required to compete in the Dec. 14-20 Selection Event in order to restore his team status.
The discipline only brought out the best in Ramos as he all but wrapped up a World Cup spot by placing second in a Select singles competition Monday at Snowbird, Utah.
“I had a little more faith in the way I train than them. I didn’t want to look like an idiot in trusting myself like that,” said Ramos, whose 27.01 score was a mere .06 behind Tim Warner of Winter Park, Colo.
Warner also won the previous singles event, giving him the No. 1 World Cup spot. The team gave out two spots last year and the athletes have been led to believe during the past week that two berths are again available.
“Two spots were up for grabs and Tim and I both have the lowest points. The only thing that could make me happier is if my buddy Travis Cabral was up on the podium with me,” said Ramos, who won two Selection Events last year at Squaw Valley to qualify for North American World Cup stops.
South Lake Tahoe’s Cabral, returning from a sprained knee incurred last month, was fourth Monday with a 25.84 run. South Shore’s Chris Hernandez, fresh off a fourth-place finish in Bumps and Jumps over the weekend, came in fifth at 25.73.
Ramos’ consistent week has also included third in duals and fifth in the first singles event.
“The thing I’m excited about right now is that the mission plan I had has been accomplished,” Ramos said.
In analyzing his narrow defeat to Warner, Ramos sportingly accepted his runner-up finish.
“It probably came down to that I had a few more interruptions in my turns in my run. I jumped bigger and went faster, but he kept his turns under control a little more than me,” Ramos said.
Known for his quick starts out of the season chute, Ramos credited Sierra-at-Tahoe for his success.
“One of the reasons I did so well in this competition was because Sierra opened super early this season – Nov. 3. That’s a luxury no one else on the course had,” Ramos said.
Cabral, who hoped to gain his second straight World Cup spot through Selections, came in seventh in the other singles event and 16th in duals.
“It was a good learning experience, but other than that the week hasn’t been so great so far,” Cabral said. “This course has been an equalizer for the competition … it’s really soft and it’s pretty much like if you’re at the competition, you’re good enough to win. If the course was harder, things may not have worked out the way they did.”
The freestylers conclude the Selection Event with duals today.
“Right now I’m not focused on World Cup, but I do know that I have to rock on the duals course (today) because there will be lots of serious competition out there,” Ramos said.
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