Alpine

The Tech Train Rolls On

by
Megan Harrod
2017-01-06 20:01
 

MARIBOR, Slovenia (Jan. 6, 2017) – Old Man Winter has finally arrived in Europe, and he’s been bringing snow, wind and cold temperatures across Europe. And so, the Audi FIS Ski World Cup tech train rolls from the Zagreb station onward to Maribor for the women and Adelboden, Switzerland for the men.

The women will race a giant slalom and slalom this weekend in Maribor, then the iconic night slalom on Tuesday in Flachau, while the men now travel to Adelboden for one of the tour's classic GS/SL weekends. Fans can catch all of the action live on NBCSN on both Saturday and Sunday, and via live stream on nbcsports.com.

Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) has won the last two World Cup giant slalom races, both held in Semmering, Austria. Prior to that, her last GS win was in October 2014 at Soelden, Austria. She’s been on a tech roll, winning four of the last five tech events (two slalom races, two giant slalom races), and she’ll look to carry that fire into the weekend.

With 26 World Cup victories now under her belt, this weekend Shiffrin could quite possibly equal Phil Mahre in third place all time among American skiers – both men and women – by winning her 27th. Only teammates Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) with 76 and Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) with 33, have won more.

The fiery-hot and effervescent Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY) is coming off her best result since 2012, finishing seventh in Zagreb’s night slalom. Megan McJames (Park City, UT) scored her career-first slalom World Cup points, and of these ladies will seek more in both disciplines.

U.S. born, but with dual citizenship with Slovenia, Lila Lapanja (Incline Village, NV) inherited her love for skiing from dad and former Slovenian National Team skier Vojko Lapanja. She’ll be skiing in front of her Slovenian family this weekend in Maribor, and then it’s onward to Flachau, where she scored her career-first World Cup points last season.

On the men’s side, notably missing will be Olympic Champion and five-time World Cup giant slalom champion Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), who has been struggling with back pain and has decided to sit this one out as he weighs his options for long-term solutions.

The men’s team will be led by veteran Tim Jitloff (Reno, NV), Tommy Ford (Bend, OR) and Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, VT) in giant slalom, and David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) in slalom. The entire tech team has shown solid results, with the younger guys stepping up and showing promise.

Keep an eye on AJ Ginnis (Vouliagmeni, Greece) and Mark Engel (Truckee, CA), who have both been skiing strong in recent World Cup action. Engel posted the third-fastest time in Zagreb’s first run before straddling just before the finish on the second run. Each of the slalom guys have been trading fastest run times in training, so Ginnis’ and Engel’s fast skiing has given them confidence that they can stick it in there.

Road to Aspen Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals
Austria's Marcel Hirscher and Shiffrin each continue to hold strong leads in the overall Audi FIS Ski World Cup. They will remain on top through this weekend's technical races on both tours, before the schedule moves over to several weekends of speed racing including the possible return of Vonn. Switzerland’s Lara Gut sits in second, 215 points behind Shiffrin – who will have three chances to extend her lead this weekend. The battle for World Cup crystal globes will conclude in Aspen this March with the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals.

CONFIRMED STARTERS

Women:
Megan McJames (Park City, UT) – GS, SL
Lila Lapanja (Incline Village, NV) – SL
Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) – GS, SL
Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY) – GS, SL
Keely Cashman (Strawberry, CA) – SL, Flachau*
*Denotes first World Cup start.

Men:
Michael Ankeny (Deephaven, MN) – SL
David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) – GS, SL
Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, VT) – GS
Mark Engel (Truckee, CA) – SL
Tommy Ford (Bend, OR) – GS
AJ Ginnis (Vouliagmeni, Greece) – SL
Tim Jitloff (Reno, NV) – GS
Robby Kelley (Starksboro, VT) – SL
Hig Roberts (Steamboat Springs, CO) – GS
Brennan Rubie (Salt Lake City, UT) – GS

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mikaela Shiffrin has been on a tech roll, winning four of the last five tech events (two slalom races, two giant slalom races), and she’ll look to carry that fire into the weekend.
  • Resi Stiegler is coming off her best result since 2012, finishing seventh in Zagreb’s night slalom.
  • 17-year-old Keely Cashman will be starting in her first World Cup slalom in Flachau.
  • Ted Ligety has been struggling with back pain and will not compete in the Adelboden giant slalom.
  • Mark Engel finished Thursday’s first run of slalom at Zagreb, just ahead of current Overall and Slalom World Cup leader Austria’s Marcel Hirscher before straddling second run.
  • This marks the return of Hig Roberts to World Cup action, who recently won a giant slalom NorAm at Stowe Mountain.
  • Fans can catch all of the action live on NBCSN on both Saturday and Sunday, and via live stream on nbcsports.com.

BROADCAST AND LIVE STREAMING (times EST)
Saturday, Jan. 7
3:15 a.m. – Maribor women’s giant slalom – run 1 – nbcsports.com – LIVE STREAM
4:30 a.m. – Adelboden men’s giant slalom – run 1 – nbcsports.com – LIVE STREAM
6:00 a.m.  – Maribor women’s giant slalom – LIVE on NBCSN and LIVE STREAM
7:30 a.m. – Adelboden men’s giant slalom – LIVE on NBCSN and LIVE STREAM

Sunday, Jan. 8
3:15 a.m. – Maribor women’s slalom – run 1 – nbcsports.com – LIVE STREAM
4:30 a.m. – Adelboden men’s slalom – run 1 – nbcsports.com – LIVE STREAM
6:00 a.m.  – Maribor women’s slalom – LIVE on NBCSN and LIVE STREAM
7:30 a.m. – Adelboden men’s slalom – LIVE on NBCSN and 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.