Editor’s note: RealVail.com is not using the name of the cable TV company sponsoring the Birds of Prey World Cup races, protesting the company’s higher rates in the Vail Valley and ongoing dispute with the station that broadcasts Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets games that is keeping the two red-hot teams blacked out across the state accept on DIRECTV.
Now’s here a press release from the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team on Friday’s super-G race on the famed Birds of Prey World Cup race in Beaver Creek:
With perfect conditions, sunshine and hero snow prepared superbly once again by the legendary Talon Crew, Travis Ganong led four Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team athletes into the points at the Birds of Prey World Cup in Beaver Creek, Colo.
In what was an incredible run, the young Swiss Marco Odermatt skied what Ganong called a “1 out of 100 run” – pushing the line all the way down. At one point, it resulted in a near-crash as Odermatt took the pizza-rather-than-french-fry-approach, but he miraculously pulled it off and skied confidently into first place. Norway’s Attacking Viking Aleksander Aamodt Kilde skied into second, just a tenth off of Odermatt ’s time, with Austrian Matthias Mayer rounding out the podium in third.
The course set Friday was a classic, more technical super-G set. For that reason, it favored the more technical super-G skiers, while the classic downhillers who excel on more downhill-like super-G sets, like Italy’s Dominik Paris, Switzerland’s Beat Feuz and Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud struggled with the super-G set – “too technical,” Paris said in the finish area, followed by some expletives. On the flip side, the technical set benefited guys like Odermatt , as well as France’s Alexis Pinturault, who finished just off the podium in fourth.
Ganong was the lone American to finish in the top-10, though he led four athletes into the top 30 on Friday. Ryan Cochran-Siegle finished tied for 18th, Steven Nyman was 24th, and Ted Ligety finished 28th from bib 64 – in what appeared would be a top-five run before Ligety made a mistake into the flats and lost time.
It was a smooth run with solid and error-free skiing for Ganong, who normally makes up a ton of time on the bottom, but Friday he was fast on the top. “The top section was normally my nemesis, but today the flow was amazing up there and the snow was really easy,” reflected Ganong. “I had a really good feelings on the top, then lost a little time on the bottom, but I’m super fired up to land in sixth.”
Once again the Talon Crew did an incredible job, making the track “a joy to ski,” as many guys said in the finish. “I just really had a fun and enjoyable run,” Ganong said after his run. “The snow was perfect – it was money, the Talon Crew did an awesome job preparing the track as always! Anyone can win a super-G, it’s about who is willing to take the most risk and pull it off, watching Odermatt – he took way too much risk, but somehow it worked out for him and that’s tough to beat. That’s on the limit super-G, and that’s what’s fast.” Ganong will bring the confidence from Friday’s run into Saturday’s downhill.
Up next for the men will be the “real event” (as Cochran-Siegle – who is skiing in all three events this weekend at Beaver Creek – joked in the finish area with Nyman) – downhill on Saturday at the Birds of Prey World Cup.
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Saturday, Dec. 7
1:00 p.m. – Men’s downhill, Birds of Prey, Beaver Creek, Colo. – Olympic Channel, Olympic Channel.com. NBC Sports Gold
2:30 p.m. – Women’s downhill, Lake Louise, Alberta – Olympic Channel, Olympic Channel.com, NBC Sports Gold
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.
Exclusive commercial-free coverage will be available for subscribers of the NBC Sports Gold Pass, available here: https://www.nbcsports.com/gold/snow.