Steven Nyman was 15th at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup men's downhill in Val d'Isere, France. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Alain Grosclaude)
VAL D’ISERE, France (Dec. 3, 2016) – Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) led the American’s in the first downhill of the season in 15th Saturday at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup.
Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud won for the second-straight day after taking Friday’s super G victory. Peter Fill of Italy was second. Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, who was second in Friday’s super G, finished third.
An early November storm dropped upwards of three meters of snow on the top of the course in Val d'Isere. However, rain fell on the lower slopes during the same storm. Organizers were able to make enough snow on the lower slopes to host the event, but the conditions proved challenging for the racers, with extremely aggressive snow.
“The snow is super aggressive,” Nyman said. “You’re going from natural snow (up top), to really grippy (snow), to dense wet stuff and it’s hard to adapt.”
“It was just crazy,” added Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY), who finished 37th. “The snow was so much more aggressive than it has been over the past days. My skis were too sharp and I’m just happy to be down. I had a couple close calls.”
Next up, the men race the second giant slalom of the season Sunday in Val d’Isere. Watch it in high definition live via NBCsports.com/live at 4:00 and 7:00 a.m. (EST).
Steven Nyman was the top American finisher in 15th.
Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud won his 16th career World Cup with Saturday’s downhill victory.
Jansrud’s second victory of the season moved him into the overall World Cup lead.
NBC will broadcast the downhill Saturday at 5 p.m. EST.
QUOTES Steven Nyman The snow is super-aggressive. Up top they groomed it a lot...because there is a lot of soft snow. They did an amazing job because there received three meters of snow...but down here it was rain. So you’re going from natural snow, to really grippy, to dense wet stuff and it’s hard to adapt.
You can see a lot of the guys are getting caught up, kicked and high-sided, and it due to the snow conditions.
I wasn’t really active over a lot of the terrain. I was passive. It was just dumb mistakes, tactical mistakes for me. To know that I can still make those mistakes and still be as good as I am – great! But I have a lot higher expectations.
Andrew Weibrecht I think the biggest positive is that I didn't kill myself today [laughing]. It was just crazy. The snow was so much more aggressive than it has been over the past days. My skis were too sharp and I’m just happy to be down. I had a couple close calls.
The course broke up quite a bit more. On the flats, there were ruts and grooves. During training, the course held up pretty well, but today, the snow really broke.
Everybody is still working out the kinks. It’s the first race series, so we’ll do it better next time.