ultraNew sport in town

MOUNT SNOW, Vt. -- The Winter X Games unveiled a new sport on Sunday, bringing together skiers and snowboarders in a new event called UltraCross. And the word from the mountain is it's about time.

"I love it, this is great," said Travis McLain, a snowboarder.

McLain teamed up with Peter Lind, from Sweden, to take the inaugural Winter X gold medal in the sport. The American participated in the Red Bull UltraCross at Squaw Valley, Calif., in January with Tyler Williams. They came in fourth.

There was fun along with games in UltraCross.
UltraCross paired the top 13 skiers and snowboarders together in a relay-type race. The snowboarders raced down the mountain in groups of four. When one team member (the snowboarder) crossed the finish line the gate was released for his partner (the skier) to start. The top two finishers from each heat advanced to the championship round. The teams were picked randomly at a draw party the night before the event.

"I went to the (draw) party last night to pick a name and I picked Peter. I didn't know what he looked liked and they told me to just look for the brick wall with the Swedish accent," laughed McLain.

The teams of Drew Neilson/Shane McConkey and David Dowd/Jeremy Nobis were considered to be the favorites in the new event, but both teams were eliminated in the first round. McLain and Lind raced consistently throughout the day, relying on one another's strengths.

"He's a really great snowboarder," Lind said of his teammate. "He was solid all day long and I am confident in my ability so I knew we had a good chance to win."

"I knew I was partnered with one of the fastest skiers, so I knew I had to have a good start out of the gate to be competitive," said McLain.

McLain/Lind beat out the Scott Gaffney/Sverre Liliequist to take the gold. The All-American team of Mike Dill and Terry Plum took the bronze.

UltraCross standings
Finish Pair
1. Peter Lind/Travis McLain
2. Scott Gaffney/Sverre Liliequist
3. Mike Dill/Terry Plum
4. Emil Englund/Ben Wainwright
5. Jason Brown/Zack Crist
6. Josh Loubek/Seth Wescott
7. Mark Schulz/Chris Davenport
8. Lucas Dehmlow/Matt Murphy

 Peter Lind beats the pack to the finish line to take gold.
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 Travis McLain didn't know his teammate, but is glad that they were a perfect match.
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