After yesterday’s time trials, the Rahlves’ Banzai Tour stop at Alpine Meadows will run today in stacked heats starting with Men’s Snowboard at 10:45, and yes, that mogul field in the photo above is smack dab in the middle of the track.
The course runs fast and open from the top of Wolverine Bowl but once you pop over the roller before the pitch underneath Summit chair it’s a different picture all together.
This pitch is a game changer, and yes, a handful of people actually straight lined this section. A few of them made it. One John Bochenek absolutely throttled it. I think the upper cuff of his ski boot came higher than his ear only once on the entire pitch. Then he pulled it in and hammered the turn at the bottom. Bochenek won the time trial by over 2 seconds. Many racers took a slightly more conservative approach to this portion of the course.
That blue gate on the left is the last gate on the face until you reach the corridor to sweeping left turn visible right by the Summit chair tower in the photo above. Strategy and cajones are likely to play a major roll here. Having an open and rough section like this for the athletes to navigate is a new addition to the already challenging Banzai courses. I’m guessing we will see some passing in the mogul field today, and probably some explosions as well.
The race crew spent some time working on the course after the time trials finished up yesterday. It will be ready to roll for today’s race! Hopefully for the racers the wind is light and the sun is warm over Alpine today. Yesterday a cool breeze kept most of the track pretty firm. Especially the washboard pitch.
It should be an impressive show today. If you can make it over to Alpine to watch I’d recommend it. Heats will be running until some time around 2:00 pm. We will have photos and results later in the day.
The brackets for today’s race are below. Mostly four person heats with two racers advancing and two racers heading to the BBQ pits for a well deserved reprieve.