Saint-Lary-Piau, France Jan. 11, 2002 ST. LARY. France (Jan. 11) -- Olympic champion Jonny Moseley of Tiburon, CA went back to basics Friday and nailed two triple-tricks to win his first World Cup moguls event in four years. This win virtually clinches him a spot so he can defend his gold medal next month in Utah. Kari Traa of Norway won the women's event with Shannon Bahrke of Tahoe City, CA taking third and Ann Battelle of Steamboat Springs, CO with a fourth place finish.
Moseley led the qualifying and had two solid runs, landing a triple twister and triple twister-spread for his first World Cup triumph since 1998 when he not only won the Olympic title but the World Cup crown, as well. He received 27.28 points to beat of the 27.10 scored by Swede Fredrik Fortkord.
Moseley in the top ten by three teammates. Travis Mayer of Steamboat Springs, CO, the U.S. Ski Team Gold Cup winner who is the lone man named to the Olympic Team so far, was seventh with 26.43. Jeremy Bloom of Loveland, CO was ninth and Toby Dawson of Vail, CO 10th.
In the women's contest, Norwegian Kari Traa won by nearly two points over Marina Cherkasova of Russia. Battelle, posted her second top-5 finish and thus met part of the Olympic selection criteria.
"Finally, a win," said moguls Head Coach Don St. Pierre. "We've been close and we've been chomping at the bit, so this is nice. And, certainly, hats off to Jonny. I'm sure it's a great relief. After Germany last Sunday in Oberstdorf, I think he was really down but he's turned things around.
"Jonny's not only in the hunt for an Olympic spot, he's leading the hunt with two competitions left" before the moguls team is expected to be named Jan. 22.
Moseley did not try his horizontal rotation "dinner roll," deciding instead to lay down tricks the judges were comfortable in judging. "Jonny gave the judges what they were looking for; there was no reason not to give him the highest scores. He had two solid runs," St. Pierre said.
Bahrke's re-run came after officials conceded there had been some irregularities with the timing and her original run was protested by the U.S. staff. "This was her fourth re-run of the year; she did well at the top but her bottom air wasn't quite as good...but she moved up from sixth to third going into Finals, and then she held onto third."
Battelle, pleased with her second top-5 after a sluggish start to the season, said, "I still haven't had the run I want, but things are startintg to go in the right direction." The two-time World Cup champion and 1999 world moguls champ was fourth in Oberstdorf.
The competition was moved from St. Lary to a neighboring village because of no snow and the new course was a short, flat, easy run, which made judging tough because the top skiers couldn't sparkle as much as on a tougher course, the coach said.
"This is the first time we've had a World Cup in this area, just as the first time last weekend in Oberstdorf, and there's been a little scrambling...but I wouldn't want to be a judge on this course," St. Pierre said, "because it's so hard when skiers don't have a stage where they can stand-out.
"Donna hit two triples that were just incredible, but it wasn't what they wanted, so she got penalized and wound up 25th. It was a tough day."
In a separate incident, St. Pierre said Chris Hernandez of Heavenly, CA was recuperating after suffering a knee injury with apparent ligament damage Thursday in training and would be sidelined indefinitely.
The visit to the St. Lary region near Toulouse concludes Sunday with another moguls event before the tour heads to North American with the Gateway Freestyle Challenge Jan. 18-20 in Lake Placid, N.Y., and U.S. Olympic Team selection expected by the 22nd.
WORLD CUP MOGULS SKIING
St. Lary, FRA - Jan. 11
(12 skiers make Finals)
1. Jonny Moseley, Tiburon, Calif., 27.28
2. Fredrik Fortkord, Sweden, 27.10
3. Ryan Johnson, Canada, 27.01
4. Janne Lahttela, Finland, 27.00
5. Tapio Luusua, Finland, 26.91
7. Travis Mayer, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 26.43
9. Jeremy Bloom, Loveland, Colo., 26.17
10. Toby Dawson, Vail, Colo., 26.03
26. Ryan Riley, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
27. Travis Ramos, South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
48. Evan Dybvig, Plainfield, Vt.
1. Kari Traa, Norway, 27.42
2. Marina Cherkasova, Russia, 25.62
3. Shannon Bahrke, Tahoe City, Calif., 25.53
4. Ann Battelle, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 25.48
5. Ljudmila Dymchenko, russia, 24.71
19. Jillian Vogtli, Ellicotville, N.Y.
25. Donna Weinbrecht, Killington, Vt.
30. Hannah Hardaway, Moultonborough, N.H.
WORLD CUP STANDINGS (4 events; best 3 of 4 results)>
1. Jeremy Bloom, Loveland, Colo., 264 points (higher on tiebreaker)
2. Stephane Rochon, Canada, 264
3. Laurent Niol, France, 248 (higher on tiebreaker)
4. Janne Lahtela, Finland, 248
5. Fredrik Fortkord, Sweden, 228
9. Jonny Moseley, Tiburon, Calif., 196
12. Travis Ramos, South Lake Tahoe, Calif. 180
13. Travis Mayer, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 172
22. Chris Hernandez, Heavenly, Calif., 88
23. Toby Dawson, Vail, Colo., 80
28. Alex Wilson, Buffalo, N.Y., 60
31. Ryan Riley, Steamboat Springs, Colo. 52
32. Evan Dybvig, Plainfield, Vt. 44
40. Travis Cabral, South Lake Tahoe, Calif., 28
43. Garth Hager, Bothell, Wash., 16
1. Kari Traa, Norway, 300
2. Hannah Hardaway, Moultonborough, N.H. 276
3. Aiko Uemura, Japan, 248
4. Marina Cherkasova, Russia, 240
5. Sandra Laoura, France, 224
6. Ann Battelle, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 220
7. Shannon Bahrke, Tahoe City, Calif., 216
14. Jillian Vogtli, Ellicotville, N.Y. 168
18. Donna Weinbrecht, Killington, Vt.156
24. Emiko Torito, Denver, 88