Anticipation was mounting all week for Ryan Cochran-Siegle, who put down the fastest training time in Wednesday’s first and only downhill training run at Birds of Prey World Cup.
Despite the increased pressure, the 2012 Junior World Downhill Champion held his composure and finished a career-best sixth-place — a blink of an eye (.08 seconds) – off the podium in a shortened downhill.
It’s been a season full of ties on the men’s speed circuit, and Saturday was no exception. It’s not a big surprise that Swiss Beat Feuz was the fastest man down the mountain, as he was also last year’s Birds of Prey downhill race victor.
What was a surprise, however, was France’s Johan Clarey tying Austria’s Vincent Kriechmayr, .41 seconds off Feuz’s pace.
In a day with the weather a little bit like the east coast with flat light and some gusty winds at the start, Vermonter Cochran-Siegle laid it down and trusted his skiing.
“I was a little emotional…happiness and joy,” Cochran-Siegle said after his run. “You don’t get that often, so I’ll take it. I wasn’t planning on being fast in the first training run and after winning that it felt like there might have been a little bit more of a spotlight, so just trying to handle it and show that I could perform on race day was huge.”
High winds at the start forced the men to start from the reserve start, so it was a bit more of a sprint.
Cochran-Siegle made a brilliant recovery, pushing the line and holding his composure all the way down.
“That’s just skiing. In my training run, I had a couple of turns where one ski got up in the air, but I think just trying to keep moving forward and going with what I have is what makes me fast here. In my head, I thought I was in complete control. I haven’t seen it yet – I’m sure it looked cool…but that’s skiing, you gotta be on the limit,” Cochran-Siegle.
Both Steven Nyman and Jared Goldberg put down solid skiing, and finished in the points, in 17th and 22nd respectively. Sam Morse just missed the points by a few hundredths, finishing in 32nd. Bryce Bennett, Travis Ganong, Wiley Maple, Tommy Biesemeyer and Kyle Negomir also started but did not finish in the points.
Up next for the men is giant slalom on Sunday, which will air live on the Olympic Channel and same-day delay on NBC.
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Saturday, Dec. 7
11:00 p.m. – Men’s downhill, Birds of Prey, Beaver Creek, Colo. – NBCSN*
Sunday, Dec. 8
11:40 a.m. – Men’s giant slalom run 1, Birds of Prey, Beaver Creek, Colo. – Olympic Channel, Olympic Channel.com. NBC Sports Gold
1:00 p.m. – Women’s super-G, Lake Louise, Alberta – Olympic Channel, Olympic Channel.com, NBC Sports Gold
2:30 p.m. – Men’s giant slalom run 2, Birds of Prey, Beaver Creek, Colo. – Olympic Channel, Olympic Channel.com. NBC Sports Gold
5:00 p.m. – Men’s giant slalom run, Birds of Prey, Beaver Creek, Colo. – NBC
6:00 p.m. – Women’s super-G, Lake Louise, Alberta – NBCSN*
Note: All televised events to stream across NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app, OlympicChannel.com, and Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA app.