John Teller, shown here at the 2011 FIS Freestyle World Championships at Deer Valley, led the USA in 13th in the season opening ski cross World Cup in San Candido. (Getty Images-Ezra Shaw)
SAN CANDIDO, Italy (Dec. 16) -Reigning X Games ski cross gold medalist John Teller (Mammoth Mountain, CA) led two Americans into the top 16 at the first FIS Freestyle World Cup ski cross stop in San Candido Saturday. After a crash ended his hope to advance into the round of eight, Teller finished the day in 14 with newcomer Joe Swensson (Niantic, CT) 15th. A second race goes off Sunday where other Americans Pat Duran, “Biche” Rudigoz, Trevor Ricioli and Randy Detrick get a second chance to make it into the finals. The World Cup ski cross tour then moves to St. Johan, Austria Jan. 7.
John Teller finished 14 ranking him fourth overall on the WC Ski Cross Standings
Joe Swensson started 64th and finishes 12th in qualifications, 15th in finals
Pat Duran qualified 41st missing the 32-man bracket cutoff by .25 of a second
No U.S. women competed although the USA holds one World Cup spot
QUOTES John Teller I made it OK through the first round, and then in the second round the soft conditions got the best of me. I got a lot of wash off the French skier in front of me forcing me to go inside on a big turn just before the finish. I lost my outside ski causing me to crash.
Pat Duran Joey Swennson and John Teller were the USA’s only chances and they both advanced from their first heats. In the second heats they both were charging and both crashed really hard in the same spot on the track.
The guys got lucky and a little unlucky today. Teller pre-released out of his binding when he was in second, and Joey passed from fourth to third and was going for second when he crashed hard.
Casey Pucket, USA Ski Cross Obviously I wish we could have seen a podium right out of the gate because I believe in our guys. But I'm happy that we got two in the top 16 and looking forward to the next race where a year ago John Teller made his breakthrough.
I’m very excited about Joe Swensson. I knew he would do well because he has what it takes to be a great ski cross racer. He has the size and the skiing ability, having raced at a high level in Alpine...but I didn't expect such a quick result out of him. It's great! Now we need Pat Duran and the rest of the boys to step up.