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Vans to run its course at Sierra

The Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding returns to Sierra-at-Tahoe for the Ford Ranger North American Championships of Snowboarding, beginning today and continuing through Saturday.

And if the stars of the sport like Californians’ Tara Dakides, Kevin Jones and Jim Rippey show up like they have at other venues, then area snowboarding enthusiasts are in for a spectacular weekend.

After wrapping up the boardercross portion of the three-event series earlier this month at Sierra, Vans returns to crown the champions in superpipe and big air. Dakides, the X Games big air champion, won the Vans stop at Snow Summit, while Rippey prevailed for the men.



Action begins today with men’s big air qualifying at 10 a.m. Qualifying continues through 3 p.m.

Drew Neilson and Line Oestvold won boardercross titles at Sierra earlier this month, earning a share of the event’s $45,000 purse. Boardercrossers competed earlier because of a scheduling conflict.



With two stops on The Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding in the record books, some obvious favorites have emerged for the championship. With his fourth-place finish in boardercross at Sierra, Frenchman Xavier DeLeRue has a promising chance of being crowned with the 2001 Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding. DeLeRue won the first two boardercross events, which may prove to be enough as the only one who can earn more points is 14-year-old Shaun White.

White has shown he has the skills to compete on the global level with his two runner-up finishes in Breckenridge and Snow Summit. However, he must put together another stellar performance and finish in first place to earn his first Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding title.

In the women’s division, Oestvold, of Norway, wrapped up the overall title with her second straight boardercross victory. After dominating the competition at Snow Summit and Tahoe, she has earned enough points to be out of reach from every rider competing in superpipe and big air at the Ford Ranger North American Championships of Snowboarding.

The Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding is one of the seven Vans Triple Crown Series in as many sports. Points are tabulated from the top three snowboarding events of the season, including the competitions at Breckenridge, Colo.; Snow Summit, Calif.; and Sierra. Participants earn points from their highest-scoring discipline at each of the three events.

The winner in the men’s division will receive a 2001 Ford Ranger and the winner of the women’s division will receive a trip for two to the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing in Hawaii.

Women’s big air qualifying starts at 10 a.m. Friday. Men’s and women’s superpipe qualifying plays out on Saturday. Finals in both events are Sunday.

The 2001 Vans Championships will receive three hours of television programming on ESPN and ESPN2 and will air on the following dates: ESPN, May 2; ESPN2, May 5; and ESPN2, May 6.


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