With SnowboarderX officially in the books, the final day of Winter X Games 13 will be a veritable skiapallooza on the X Course. Men's and Women's SkierX Finals, along with the medal run for Mono SkierX. Just as it was for Saturday's SnowboarderX comp, the big wild card in the deck could be weather. Conditions improved throughout Saturday afternoon, with wet and icy snow helping form a nice glaze on the course and bring it up to speed.
Sunday's forecast calls for snow and fairly warm temperatures. Keep your fingers crossed.
As for the comp itself . . .
The road to the medal run in Men's SkierX is going to be rough. The bottom half of the draw is particularly burly, and some big names could be eliminated along the way. The third quarterfinal heat includes four finalists from last year's race: Tomas Kraus, Errol Kerr, Michael Schmid, and gold medalist Daron Rahlves. Only three will make the semi-final. In the top half, everyone is wondering how X Games rook Brady Leman, the top qualifier after Friday's time trial and a 22 year old pup in a sport dominated by older athletes, will fare with five other racers on his hip.
Three more Canadians to watch? Stanley Hayer (last year's silver medalist), Chris DelBosco, who worked all summer to put on weight that'll come in handy if the course slows down, and #2 seed Brian Bennett.
Women's SkierX is Ophelie David's party, and she tends to be resistant to crashers. Her qualifying time was a full second faster than #2 seed Magdalena Jonsson. She's dominated the World Cup scene and has a track record of success in Aspen, winning gold in '07 and '08. No reason to believe she won't make it a threepeat.
Kevin Bramble turned in the top qualifying time in today's Mono SkierX time trial- no shock there- making tomorrow's Final a three man race between Bramble, Tyler Walker, and KJ van der Klooster, who has far larger cajones than you, my friend.