Big Weekend On Tap at Wengen and Flachau

Megan Harrod
2016-01-14 17:57

WENGEN, Switzerland (Jan.14, 2016) – Though Mother Nature provided a challenge for the men here in Wengen – at last – they were able to complete a successful downhill training run in preparation for the 86th edition of the classic Lauberhorn downhill.

Thursday was the calm before another storm – soon enough, nearly 30,000 ski racing enthusiasts will descend upon Wengen and the energy coupled with a pure love of the sport – aided by hefty amounts of Glühwein – will be palpable.

The conditions weren’t ideal with flat light, but the course crew worked their magic on the legendary track, creating a much smoother and consistent racing surface than the athletes saw Thursday – which used the alpine combined downhill start just above the Hundschopf jump. Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA) was the fastest American Downhiller, 1.44 seconds off the fastest time, clocked by Attacking Viking Aksel Lund Svindal. It was tight in the top three, with Austrian Vincent Kriechmayr .04 and Italian Peter Fill .08 out, respectively.

When run at full length, the Lauberhorn is the longest downhill track on the Audi FIS World Cup Alpine circuit. The track boasts a length of 4.48 km (2.78 miles), which results in run times of two and a half minutes. Speeds are upwards of 100mph – a real leg-burner. It’ll be fun to watch – so make sure you check out the broadcast schedule below, because you’ll be able to watch it live on NBCSN at 6:30 a.m. and a re-air on NBC at 3:30 p.m.

Wengen will also play host to an Alpine Combined Friday, which features one run each of downhill and slalom, and a slalom race on Sunday.

Over on the women’s side in Flachau, Austria, Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY) will lead a team that’s fresh off a big night of results with three in the top 30 at the same venue last Tuesday night, including Lila Lapanja (Incline Village, NV) and Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN), which will feature a first run course set by Assistant Tech Coach Karin Harjo. Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) will headline the giant slalom on Sunday, in hopes of getting back to that Åre giant slalom form and regaining the overall lead from Switzerland’s Lara Gut.

Wengen (AC, DH, SL) Starters
Michael Ankeny – SL
Bryce Bennett – AC, DH
David Chodounsky – SL
Travis Ganong – DH
Jared Goldberg – AC, DH
Tim Jitloff – AC
Robby Kelley – SL
Tim Kelley – SL
Ted Ligety – AC, SL
Wiley Maple – DH
Steven Nyman – AC, DH
Marco Sullivan – DH
Andrew Weibrecht – AC, DH

Flachau (SL, GS) Starters
Lila Lapanja – SL
Megan McJames – GS
Paula Moltzan – SL
Resi Stiegler – SL
Lindsey Vonn – GS


Travis Ganong
It was OK today. The snow was really icy – they injected a lot of the really tough sections. They just injected it like they would a slalom race. The surface was so hard. Yesterday it was like six or seven inches of mashed potatoes – just bally, no surface, so it was actually fun to ski and be able to push on the ice and get something out of the ski.

Everything skis like how the classic Wengen downhill skis, it’s no different – you still go of the Hundschopf, the Minschkante, and the Canadian Corner – and that’s really bumpy and gnarly. It’s actually pretty tough. Even though it’s shorter, it’s still almost two minutes, which is a normal downhill. On race day, I need to push harder, all the way to the finish.

[From Flachau on Tuesday night]

Resi Stiegler
I went into the second run just knowing I had to go for it all out. I didn’t think I was going to launch off that roll as much as I did, but somehow I just whipped it back and kept going for it. It was good mentally to fight for it all the way to the finish. I’ve been kind of a head case on this hill for a long time. I just need to start pushing it to the limit, and it doesn’t matter if you go out, or make mistakes. I’m past the point of solid runs; I need to have something spectacular to make it into the top 10, top five.

Lila Lapanja
I feel pretty good, but I’m a competitor and I already know what I want to do differently to go even faster. But this is an amazing start and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

I had to be a little bit smarter with my tactics (on the second run), let the skis go out a little bit more, but I was a little bit impatient because I was so amped.

Paula Moltzan
It’s pretty exciting! Second run wasn’t quite what I was hoping for, but I fought the whole way down and scored my first World Cup points.


Friday, Jan. 15
4:30 a.m. - Men’s Combined (DH), Wengen - LIVE STREAM
8:00 a.m. - Men’s Combined (Slalom), Wengen - LIVE STREAM
9:30 a.m. - Women’s Slalom Run 1, Flachau - LIVE STREAM
12:30 p.m. - Women’s Slalom Run 2, Flachau - LIVE STREAM
5:30 p.m. - Women’s Slalom, Flachau - Universal HD
8:00 p.m. - Men’s Combined, Wengen - Universal HD

Saturday, Jan. 16
6:30 a.m. - Men’s Downhill, Wengen - LIVE - NBCSN
3:30 p.m. - Men’s Downhill (re-air), Wengen - NBC

Sunday, Jan. 17
3:15 a.m. - Women’s Giant Slalom Run 1, Flachau - LIVE STREAM
6:15 a.m. - Women’s Giant Slalom Run 2, Flachau - LIVE STREAM
4:30 a.m. - Men’s Slalom Run 1, Wengen - LIVE STREAM
7:30 a.m. - Men’s Slalom Run 2, Wengen - LIVE STREAM
6:00 p.m. - Women’s Giant Slalom, Flachau - Universal HD
7:30 p.m. - Men’s Slalom, Wengen - Universal HD

Men’s downhill training 1