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Sierra to host Vans Triple Crown

Xavier DeLaRue of France is the man to beat going into the final stop of the $125,000 Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding Boardercross on Thursday and Friday at Sierra-at-Tahoe.

DeLaRue has yet to lose in the series this winter, winning boardercrosses at Breckenridge and Snow Summit, Calif.

Still, DeLaRue only shares the overall points lead for the series’ three disciplines and must finish atop the podium at Sierra in order to win the grand prize, a 2001 Ford Ranger.



Brothers Phillipe and Nicolas Conte of France are also expected to compete. Phillipe finished sixth and Nicolas seventh at Snow Summit. The main American threats are Brandon Steig of Alpine Meadows, who came in eighth at Snow Summit and Mark Schulz of Welches, Ore., who finished ninth.

Aimi Xistras, 24, gives local fans someone to root for on the women’s side.



“This is the biggest event of the year that I do,” Xistras said. “My friends never get to see me compete. It makes me feel good to have people there.”

Xistras comes into Vans following a third-place finish in the Western Regional Championships and seventh in an American Snowboard Tour event last weekend.

“I’m going with the flow,” Xistras said. “This is a world event, so all the top girls will be here from Austria and Switzerland.”

Cathrine Poetzl of Austria is one of the top early entrants. Poetzl finished fifth at Snow Summit.

Norway’s Line Oestvold won the previous boardercross, while Doris Krings of Austrias was runner-up.

According to Xistras, Marni Yamada of Seattle and Dena Melinn of Wrightwood, Calif., are the Americans to watch. Yamada was ninth and Melinn 10th at Snow Summit.

Up for grabs for the women in the series finale is a trip for two to the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing in Hawaii.

Qualifying starts at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Boarders can register for $100 through Wednesday’s at Siera’s Aspen Cafe.

Sierra is hosting a Vans competition for a fourth straight season.

“It’s nice that by hosting this series year after year has put Sierra on the map in the snowboard industry,” said Megan Moore, a Sierra public relations officer.

Breakout

What: Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding Boardercross

When: Qualifying on Thursday, women, 9:30-10:45 a.m.; men, 12:15-3:30 p.m.; finals on Friday, 10 a.m.

Where: Sierra-at-Tahoe, Marmot.


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