Alpine

Tech Teams Stoked for Val d’Isere and Sestriere

by
Megan Harrod
2016-12-09 15:31
 

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.

After a record-setting five Americans scored points last Sunday, Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) will lead the team into the third giant slalom of the season on Saturday, followed by slalom on Sunday. Coming into the weekend, the men’s tech team had a solid block of training in Val d’Isere, while the slalom team had superb training in Zinal, Switzerland. David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) scored his career best result last season in the Val d'Isere slalom, finishing fourth. His previous best was seventh on the same track in 2013. It's safe to say he likes this track and will look to throw down another solid result.

Mikaela Shiffrin is back to giant slalom and slalom events following solid speed results last weekend in Canada and her slalom victory two weeks ago in Vermont. (Getty/Agence Zoom-Alexis Boichard)

On the women’s side, Audi FIS Ski World Cup overall leader Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) will highlight the action in Sestriere - site of the 2006 Olympics, where Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) won the gold medal in giant slalom.

The women’s tech team is excited for the weekend after a great training block in Zinal, highlighted by giant slalom training with the French men - some of the best skiers in the world. The snow was injected, and the women loved the challenging World Cup-like conditions.

“I’m looking forward to the weekend. The conditions are great,” said Shiffrin. “The surface is amazing and the hill looks great. Free skiing the hill today was super fun. I think it’s going to be demanding and I’m hoping that this weekend I can just get back to having fun skiing really well and not worrying so much about whether I win or lose or get the GS win.”

Head Coach Magnus Andersson, who works with Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY) and Lila Lapanja (Incline Village, NV) added: “It's amazing snow - couldn’t be better. The girls had enough good training; now it’s just time to go!”

It's a long road to the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals in Aspen this March 15-19. After five men's races, Austria's Marcel Hirscher is off to an early lead. The women have seven races on the books with Mikaela Shiffrin holding a slim 20-point margin over Swiss Lara Gut. Keep an eye out for Gut to make a strong bid for the overall lead in Saturday's giant slalom.

For the men, coverage begins with giant slalom on Universal HD Saturday at 5:30 p.m. EST, with the slalom on Universal HD Sunday at 1:30 p.m. EST. For the women, the GS will air on Universal HD on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. EST, followed by the slalom on Universal HD Sunday at 3 p.m. EST.

CONFIRMED STARTERS

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

Sestriere - Women:
Lila Lapanja (Incline Village, NV)  – SL
Megan McJames (Park City, UT) – GS & SL
Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) – GS & SL
Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY) – GS & SL

HIGHLIGHTS

  • With five men's races in the books on the season, Austria's Marcel Hirscher is off to an early lead in the overall standings.
  • After grabbing 11th last weekend and fifth in the Soelden giant slalom opener, Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) will look to climb the podium once again.
  • Ligety has two podiums in Val d’Isere - a first place in 2010 and a third place in 2012.
  • Tommy Ford (Bend, OR) and Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, VT) will carry the momentum from their top-15 finishes last weekend.
  • Tim Jitloff (Reno, NV) hopes to build on his solid 18th place finish last weekend.
  • David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) scored his career best result last season in the Val d'Isere slalom, finishing fourth. His previous best was seventh on the same track in 2013. 
  • The women have seven races under their belts, with Mikaela Shiffrin holding a slim 20-point margin over Swiss Lara Gut in the overall standings.
  • Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY) finished 16th in Levi and 17th in Killington, and she’ll be hunting down the top 10 in Sestriere. In the 2006 Olympic Games in Sestriere, she finished 12th in the slalom.
  • Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) won giant slalom gold on the Sestriere track in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.
  • Universal HD will cover both men’s and women’s giant slalom and slalom races. Live streaming of both races will be available on NBCsports.com/live.

TV SCHEDULE
BROADCAST AND LIVE STREAMING (All times EST)
Saturday, Dec. 10
3:30 a.m. Men’s giant slalom, first run – Val d’Isere – NBCsports.com - LIVE STREAM
4:30 a.m. Women’s giant slalom, first run – Sestriere – NBCsports.com - LIVE STREAM
6:30 a.m. Men’s giant slalom, second run – Val d’Isere – NBCsports.com - LIVE STREAM
7:30 a.m. Women’s giant slalom, second run – Sestriere – NBCsports.com - LIVE STREAM
5:30 p.m. Men’s giant slalom – Universal HD
7:00 p.m. Women’s giant slalom – Universal HD

Sunday, Dec. 11
3:30 a.m. Men’s slalom, first run – Val D’Isere – NBCsports.com - LIVE STREAM
4:30 a.m. Women’s slalom, first run – Sestriere – NBCsports.com - LIVE STREAM
6:30 a.m. Men’s slalom, second run – Val D’Isere – NBCsports.com - LIVE STREAM
7:30 a.m. Women’s slalom, second run – Sestriere – NBCsports.com - LIVE STREAM
1:30 p.m. Men’s slalom – Universal HD
3:00 p.m. Women’s slalom – Universal HD

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.