Alpine

Ganong Leads U.S. in Post-Christmas Downhill

by
USSA
2015-12-29 09:26
 

SANTA CATERINA, Italy (Dec. 29, 2015) – Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA) and his U.S. teammates tackled one of the most challenging downhill tracks on the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup circuit Tuesday, where just making it to the finish line was a victory.

“There’s been lots of action, lots of crashes, lots of crazy stuff,” Ganong said after leading the U.S. Ski Team in 17th place. “I would say this is one of the toughest hills we ski. It’s really hard. It’s like Sochi on the top and Bormio on the bottom - super dark, bumpy, super fast speeds. It’s a real deal downhill. It’s a gnarly, gnarly hill - the after-Christmas wake-up call."

Adrien Theaux of France won his third career World Cup downhill Tuesday on the dark, bumpy track. Hannes Reichelt of Austria was second, followed by David Poisson of France in third. World Cup downhill leader Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway finished seventh and moved into the overall World Cup leaded by 15 points over Marcel Hirscher of Austria, who did not race Tuesday’s downhill.

Bennett
Bryce Bennett skied to a 37th-place finish in Tuesday’s World Cup downhill in Santa Caterina. (Getty Images/AFP-Olivier Morin)

For the Americans, it was a challenging day. Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) was 26th; Jared Goldberg (Holladay, UT) was 33rd; Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, CA) 37th; Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA) 42nd. Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY) was having a good run before the track got the best of him.

“I hit a bump wrong and it just squatted me,” Weibrecht said of his DNF. “I started to get a little tired, but it wasn’t bad. I think it was a potentially bad situation and I got lucky.”

Weinbrecht
Andrew Weibrecht reacts after failing to finish his race during Tuesday’s Alpine World Cup downhill in Santa Caterina. (Getty/AFP - Olivier Morin)

However, Weibrecht did find a bright side to his skiing today: “It was nice to ski well today; I’m happy about that. It’s such a weird course - it’s unlike anything we ever ski,” Weibrecht added. “There’s no rhythm. It’s bumpy and dark. It reminds a lot of the Val d’Isere World Championships course or the Sochi Olympic downhill - same kind of half turns and nastiness.”

Likewise, Ganong was happy with how he skied despite a mistake that may have cost him a top-five finish.

“I had an amazing run. I had a huge mistake on the bottom and I’m still only two seconds out,” Ganong said. “I definitely pushed hard. That big mistake on the bottom cost me top five, probably. I’m only two seconds out, so I’m pretty happy with my skiing.”

Up next, the men’s tech team competes in slalom in Santa Caterina Jan. 6, while the speed team heads to Wengen, Switzerland Jan. 12-17 for a pair of downhill events.

Travis Ganong races the Santa Caterina downhill.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Adrien Theaux of France took his third career World Cup downhill victory (Kvitfjell, 2013; Lenzerheide, 2011).
  • Travis Ganong was the top American in 17th.
  • Ganong sits 8th overall in the World Cup downhill standings.
  • Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway finished seventh and moved into the overall World Cup lead.

QUOTES

Travis Ganong
I had an amazing run. I had a huge mistake on the bottom and I’m still only two seconds out. I’m pretty happy with how I could go from the first raining run to the race day. On race day, I definitely pushed hard. That big mistake on the bottom cost me top five, probably. I’m only two seconds out, so I’m pretty happy with my skiing.

There’s been lots of action, lots of crashes, and lots of crazy stuff. I would say this is one of the toughest hills we ski on. It’s really hard. It’s like Sochi on the top and Bormio on the bottom - super dark, bumpy, super fast speeds. It’s a real deal downhill. It’s a gnarly, gnarly hill - the after-Christmas wake-up call. 

Andrew Weibrecht
I don’t really know what happened. I was feeling good on my skis today and felt physically strong. I don’t know what happened in there. I hit a bump wrong and it just squatted me. I started to get a little tired, but it wasn’t bad. It just made me mad at the end because I missed the b-net and started doing the slide for life down the hill - when you’re sliding you’re picking up speed and it sucks. It’s what it is. I think it was a potentially bad situation and I got lucky.

It was nice to ski well today; I’m happy about that. It’s such a weird course—it’s unlike anything we ever ski. You’d never actually train this, unless you trained it last week. There’s no rhythm. It’s bumpy and dark. It reminds a lot of the Val d’Isere World Championships course or the Sochi Olympic downhill - same kind of half turns and nastiness. 

BROADCAST (times EST)

Tuesday, Dec. 29
1:00 p.m. – Men's downhill, Santa Caterina, Italy, Universal HD

RESULTS
Men’s downhill