Alpine

Nyman Podiums in Val Gardena

by
Courtney Harkins
2016-12-17 06:32
 

VAL GARDENA, Italy (Dec. 17, 2016) – Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) snagged the podium on his favorite Audi FIS Ski World Cup track, finishing in third in Val Gardena. Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA) and Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, CA) nailed the top 10.

It looked like Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway was going to take his first downhill win since his injury last season, but Max Franz of Austria spoiled his celebration, coming from bib 26 to win the race—his first World Cup victory of his career and the first Austrian win on the Saslong in eight years.


Nyman skis down the Saslong. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Francis Bompard)

It was another beautiful day in the Dolomites with the U.S. men performing well on the open downhill track. Nyman had a wild ride—threatening first place even after landing on his tails off a jump. But the hill is a perfect set up for the big man—built for strong gliders like Nyman. “I’m really happy with the performance,” said Nyman. “Val d’Isere was a big disappointment—I had some equipment issues I was dialing in. To resurrect that here and know I can ski at the top is really, really good and I want to carry that into Caterina.”

Ganong also had a great day, putting down an aggressive line to finish in seventh place. But his eyes are looking towards the win at Santa Caterina. “I know I have speed to be faster than anybody, but it’s having all the splits add up at the end,” said Ganong. “It’s close, it’s super close. I have to keep working at it and keep trying and it’ll come.”


Bryce Bennett skis from 54th to eighth place. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Alexis Boichard)

The race was thrilling to the end, with Bennett skiing from bib 54 to finish eighth, right behind Ganong. This wasn’t Bennett’s first bibbo rodeo at Val Gardena. Last season, he started 57th to finish sixth on the track.

The men’s tech team heads to Alta Badia for a giant slalom Sunday and parallel GS Monday, while the speed team will be training in Santa Caterina for races after the holiday.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Steven Nyman was the top American, finishing on the podium in third place.
  • Travis Ganong grabbed the top 10, finishing seventh—his best result at Val Gardena.
  • Bryce Bennett started 54th and finished eighth—the second time he’s had a huge bibbo at Val Gardena. Last season, he started 57th to finish sixth.
  • Steven Nyman has won three times in Val Gardena - 2006, 2012 and 2014.
  • The World Cup tour heads over to Alta Badia for a giant slalom on Sunday and a parallel GS on Monday.


Nyman waves at the crowd. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Francis Bompard)

QUOTES
Steven Nyman

I caught quite a bit of air and didn’t get forward on that first jump. So I went off that second big jump—the Camel Bugle—a little back, which made me roll down the windows and gave me a good scare! I bet I had a good grunt when I landed and pulled myself back up. But knees are OK and everything’s OK.

You can’t complain about (the result), but I skied really well. I was in the lead on the last split, but I burned my skis really bad. I could feel them on this last drag down bottom and they were just grabbing and I was like, I’m not moving like I should be moving right now. Which is a bummer, but that’s part of ski racing. I’m really happy with the performance. Val d’Isere was a big disappointment—I had some equipment issues I was dialing in. To resurrect that here and know I can ski at the top is really, really good and I want to carry that into Catarina.

I’m old but I’m healthy and happy and I have several more years in me. My lady thinks I can go till 2022. I don’t know about that, but we’ll see.


Travis Ganong races to seventh. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Alexis Boichard)

Travis Ganong
I know I have speed to be faster than anybody, but it’s having all the splits add up at the end. It’s close, it’s super close. I have to keep working at it and keep trying and it’ll come. Hopefully, I can build from this and look at the video and figure out why I lose time in one section of every race and hopefully not do that next race and hopefully win.

Nyman is scary fast. He has mistakes—he’s wild, he’s crazy, but he’s scary fast on this hill. You never count him out even when he’s landing on his back off jumps and getting tossed all over the place. He’s super fast on this hill. He has it so dialed. And it’s all confidence too because he’s had so much success here.

Bryce Bennett
I had some good training runs and I’ve never experienced that in my career where I was fast in my training runs. I was pretty nervous today, my mind was a lot of places, but I was able to calm it down four people before I went. Then I just went and skied and had a good time. I really enjoy this track. It’s incredibly prepared and the terrain suits my style, so I just like to have fun with it. The big jumps and all the bumps and micro terrain and big terrain—I grew up racing BMX and it’s very similar. So I just enjoy using my strength sometimes. I think we all thrive here, which is showing today. 

RESULTS
Men’s downhill

BROADCAST AND LIVE STREAMING (times EST)

Sat, Dec. 17
5:30 p.m. – Val Gardena men’s downhill – UniversalHD

Sun, Dec. 18
3:30 a.m. – Alta Badia men’s giant slalom – run 1 – nbcsports.com – LIVE STREAM
6:30 a.m. – Alta Badia men’s giant slalom – run 2 – nbcsports.com – LIVE STREAM
8:00 p.m. – Alta Badia men's giant slalom - NBCSN

Mon, Dec. 19
12:00 p.m. – Alta Badia men's parallel giant slalom – nbcsports.com – LIVE STREAM

Live streaming available on NBCsports.com/Live and the NBC Sports app, which is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.