Crist brothers go 1-2 in skiercross
ASPEN ” Dominating a field that included four former champions, the brothers Crist “Reggie and Zach of Sun Valley ” finished 1-2 in the men’s skiercross final Saturday at the ESPN Winter X Games at Buttermilk.
Hometown favorite Casey Puckett of Old Snowmass, the defending champion, was slow out of the start in the semis and six-man final. And this time, he couldn’t reel in Reggie who led from wire to wire.
Zach slipped by Puckett for third when Puckett launched into a minor orbit ” catching way, way more air than he would’ve liked off a jump. When he finally landed ” as Zach was sneaking past underneath “- his speed was sapped. Zach then caught Frenchman Enak Gavaggio at the line ” a photo finish revealed Zach a nose ahead.
“I knew that was my chance,” Zach said of Puckett’s lunar flight. “He got squashed off the exit jump and then just launched the hip. I snuck right underneath him. I was like, ‘Thank you very much.'”
Puckett was fourth, Vail’s Eric Archer was fifth and Jesper Brugge of Sweden came sixth.
Said Reggie: “Zach and I have been working together and we had some little trade secrets that paid off, obviously, 1-2. And now that the race is over, I’ll let you know: Basically we were making a different move over the first roller and then we had what we called the grand canyon. And the goal there was to get back on the snow as soon as possible, and we had a special technique to minimize our flight.”
The final featured four former skiercross champions: Puckett (2004), Reggie (2002), Zach (2001) and Gavaggio (1999). Puckett and the Crist brothers are former teammates on the U.S. Ski Team of about six years.
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