VAL D’ISERE, France (Dec. 17, 2016) – Breezy Johnson (Victor, ID) skied into the ‘bonus points’ Saturday, leading four American’s into the top 30 in downhill at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup.
“I’ve worked really hard all summer long, so it’s great to see it pay off in a place where I really didn’t expect a whole lot because I’ve never been here before,” said Johnson, who finishing 13th - her second career top 15 World Cup result. “My technician (Aleš Sopotnik) and I were talking and he was like: ‘Anything above 25 is really just bonus points.’”
Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec won her third World Cup downhill of the season Saturday by 0.28 over Austria’s Cornelia Huetter. Italy’s Sofia Goggia was third.
VAL GARDENA, Italy (Dec. 16, 2016) – Once Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA) got up to speed, he laid down a solid run to lead to U.S. men in Friday’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup super G.
“The skiing was really good once I got into it,” said Ganong, who finished the day in 18th. “But the start is kind of what got me.”
Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud, who has been on fire so far this season in speed events, won his second super G race of the season over countryman Aleksander Aamodt Kilde. Canada’s Erik Guay rounded out the podium in third – his 24th World Cup podium finish.
VAL D’ISERE, France (Dec. 16, 2016) – After winning the downhill run, Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) finished 10th in the Audi FIS Ski World Cup alpine combined in Val d’Isere.
Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia capitalized on her hot streak to win her third World Cup of the season—and her third World Cup of her career—having won both downhills at Lake Louise. Michelle Gisin of Switzerland was second and Sofia Goggia of Italy was third.
Ross excelled at the dark and bumpy downhill portion of the day. "The downhill run is awesome--the snow is great, a little bumpy in spots and most of the course is in the shade so it's tough to see," said Ross. "But was a ton of fun. It felt a little faster today, but that may be due to the fact that I didn't make any big mistakes and was skiing more aggressively than in the training runs."
VAL GARDENA, ITA (Dec. 15, 2016) – There’s a crown to be regained this weekend, and Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) is the man looking to reclaim the title of King of the Saslong once again. This place feels like home to Nyman, complete with that unmatched Italian hospitality, clean and fresh air, a challenging track and incredible vistas.
Val Gardena is a classic track on the Audi FIS Ski World Cup circuit and—at 3,446 meters long—offers a long, challenging downhill with terrain to boot. To say Nyman likes the Saslong is an understatement. Of the three times he’s won in his career, they’ve all been here in Val Gardena in 2006, 2012 and 2014—all even years. 2016 is an even year, too. He’s reached the podium seven other times, all in downhill, including four last season. That podium streak last season was a record for the American Downhillers.
The Giovanni Agnelli race course in Sestriere, Italy is steeped in history. Named for the founder of Fiat and developer of the resort in the 1930s, this was the piste that sent 21-year-olds Julia Mancuso and Ted Ligety on to Olympic gold in 2006.
It was here that the legendary Janica Kostelic of Croatia won three slaloms and is the site of one Kristina Koznick’s six wins.
But the Audi FIS Ski World Cup hadn’t visited Sestriere’s fabled slalom pitch in 13 seasons. Mikaela Shiffrin was just nine then.
Standing in the starting gate, history was not on Mikaela Shiffrin’s mind. Coming off a pressure-filled weekend at Killington, Vermont, and topped off with the stress of her first downhill events in Lake Louise, the travel to Sestriere had taken its toll.
SESTRIERE, Italy (Dec. 11, 2016) – Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) crushed the second run to take her sixth-straight slalom win at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup in Sestriere by over a second.
After winning the first run by only .12, Shiffrin stated that she was feeling stiff and was a little bummed with her skiing. So she took that frustration and channeled it into her second run, building almost a full second onto her first run time to take the win by 1.09 seconds over Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia. Wendy Holdener of Switzerland finished third.
Shiffrin slayssecond run to take the win. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Christophe Pallot)
VAL D’ISERE, France (Dec. 11, 2016) – Some days you’re riding in the groove, other days you’re just trying to find the groove. Today was the latter for U.S. men’s slalom team at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom.
“The hill was prepared with injection – hard snow,” said Sasha Rearick, U.S. Ski Team men’s head coach. “A good course set, but tough in some ways. With the injected groove, you had to ski that groove cleanly. If you don’t make that groove with confidence, you’re going to bounce. And that was the challenge today.”
SESTRIERE, Italy (Dec. 10, 2016) – In a tight race, Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) grabbed her third top-10 giant slalom result in a row, taking sixth place at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup giant slalom in Sestriere, Italy.
Tessa Worley of France was the day's winner, mirroring her teammate Alexis Pinturault who won the men's GS in Val d’Isere, France earlier in the day. Italian Sofia Goggia continued her attack on World Cup podiums in second and Lara Gut of Switzerland was third.
VAL D’ISERE, France (Dec. 9, 2016) – On a course defined by shadows, hard snow and relentless terrain, David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) squeaked out an 18th-place finish in Saturday’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup giant slalom.
“I just barely squeaked in the first run,” said Chodounsky, who tied Italy’s Florian Eisath for 30th to qualify for the second run. “This hill is so tough. It’s steep and never lets you go. I felt like I was attacking, but made some mistakes (in the first run), but I opened it up a bit in the second run.”
VAL D’ISERE, France (Dec. 9, 2016) – It’s like Groundhog Day here in Val d’Isere, only we’re on the other side of Olympic Avenue this weekend, skiing on the relentless Stade Olympique de Bellevarde. Welcome to the real “Criterium de la Premiere Niege.” Last week was just a tease to the big event this weekend and the French are sure to once again put on a show for the home crowd.