Alpine Programs

New Raptor Downhill Gets First Test

by
USSA
2013-11-26 15:21
 

BEAVER CREEK, CO (Nov. 26) – The Best in the World U.S. women's speed team tested the brand new Raptor downhill course to open the Nature Valley Raptor women's race week at Beaver Creek. Tuesday marked the first of three training sessions before Friday's downhill, which will kick off the women’s Audi FIS Alpine World Cup speed season. It also marked the first full-length test of what will be the 2015 World Championships women’s speed venue. Thanks to the world-class course preparations and excellent early season conditions, Beaver Creek has lived up to its reputation of providing an unparalleled venue for ski racing in America.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Best in the World U.S. women's speed team tested the brand new Nature Valley Raptor downhill course on Tuesday to open the Nature Valley Raptor women's race week at Beaver Creek.
  • Tuesday marked the first of three training sessions before Friday's downhill, which will kick off the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup speed season.
  • Swiss Lara Gut posted the fastest time with Leanne Smith (N. Conway, NH), Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) and Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) all finishing in the top 30.
  • Most athletes used the first test as a chance to test the line and snow conditions before opening things up on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • It also marked the first full-length test of what will be the 2015 World Championships women’s speed venue.
  • Athlete reaction to the new course has been overwhelmingly positive and the challenging course is in prime condition.
  • Thanks to the world-class course preparations and excellent early season conditions, Beaver Creek has lived up to its reputation of providing an unparalleled venue for ski racing in America.

QUOTES
Julia Mancuso
It kind of has everything. It’s fast and quick, a lot of the switches are quick and there’s a lot of technical turns and intimidating sections, so it’s got a little bit of everything and it’s pretty awesome. We have three training runs so that helps a lot. It’s definitely a jumpstart into the season but I guess we get that lot on the technical side. Aspen is a really challenging hill and Soelden is really challenging, so this year we get Beaver Creek.

Leanne Smith
It was kind of what I expected. The snow is awesome, which we knew it was going to be. It was great and first training runs are always hard because there’s still that unknowing. There’s a little bit of reluctance in each athlete’s brain. That’s definitely something once you get down you can look back and see what you did and clean up the skiing. So you look  and know how to change your technique a little bit and tighten some screws and then it gets better and better. That’s my goal the next couple of days, to dial it in so on Friday I can just focus on pushing it.

Stacey Cook
It’s really hard. It’s relentless; it just keeps coming at you. Normally you’ll have a hard section and then you’ll get a little break to recuperate and this one is challenging for the brain because you just have to keep thinking the entire way down. There are a lot of technical elements that we’ve never faced this early in the season. Such big compression turns and traverses is something that you ease into throughout the year. It’s just very challenging for a November race for us. But my plan of just executing line, taking it easy and being confident on the course was something that I accomplished today.

Thursday will be the day that I start to bring it and Friday I hope I have the confidence to really go for the podium.

Laurenne Ross
It was really cool. I had a great time. I skied kind of sloppy and not really in prime form, but I feel like that’s not atypical for a first training run, especially on a new course where you’re unsure about how it’s going to go. So you’re just a little more passive than you’d like to be. I had fun anyway. It was awesome. I’m psyched about this course.

The track is really good. The snow is pretty incredible right now. They’ve done such a good job at preparing. Beaver Creek has been awesome about getting the whole women’s run ready, which was sweet.

RESULTS
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