2010 Olympics Watch: Sullivan ties for 18th in Kitzbuehel downhill | SierraSun.com

2010 Olympics Watch: Sullivan ties for 18th in Kitzbuehel downhill

U.S. Ski Team and Sun Staff report

KITZBUEHEL, Austria and#8212; Bode Miller was ninth and Marco Sullivan of Squaw Valley tied for 18th in the 70th year of the legendary Hahnenkamm Audi FIS Alpine World Cup downhill on Saturday.

Switzerlandand#8217;s Didier Cuche won for the second day in a row as five Americans landed in the top 26. The race marked the final chance for American speed skiers to earn their U.S. Olympic Team start.

Sullivan also finished 11th in the super G the day before, and is showing signs heand#8217;s rounding into top form.

and#8220;It was really fun,and#8221; Sullivan said of the downhill. and#8220;Not the best result I was looking for, but even coming through the finish, I had a big smile on my face. Itand#8217;s such a pleasure to run this course.and#8221;

Miller, who had been the fastest in training Thursday, took an early lead but lost it about a third of the way down the hill in the only major World Cup downhill the two-time overall champion is yet to win.

and#8220;Bode skied very aggressively up top, but he lost some time in the middle,and#8221; said U.S. Menand#8217;s Head Coach Sasha Rearick. and#8220;On the bottom he didnand#8217;t quite ski as aggressively on a fine line as he normally can do.and#8221;

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Making a final statement for the coaches before Vancouver picks, Erik Fisher tied Sullivan for 18th.

and#8220;Itand#8217;s fun to be here, but I feel like itand#8217;s time that I start doing some things,and#8221; Fisher said. and#8220;I had a big mistake and was able to make up a lot of time at the bottom. I know the speedand#8217;s there, Iand#8217;ve just gotta put a full run together.

and#8220;I usually make a mistake after I have one, because Iand#8217;m trying to go to hard,and#8221; Fisher said. and#8220;I was able to pull it together and have a clean bottom half.and#8221;

More than 40,000 fans were on hand for Scott Macartneyand#8217;s first downhill start in Kitzbuehel since his famous crash two years ago. Macartney recovered last year only to tear his ACL in Wengen, one week before his return.

and#8220;Itand#8217;s good to be back,and#8221; Macartney said. and#8220;It was tough the first day, tough to really wrap it up on this hill, but I kept getting better, and every day I was faster. I had a couple of mistakes today and was out of the points, but it was nice to get back to Kitzbuehel and charge down the hill again.

and#8220;Youand#8217;re always nervous at Kitzbuehel. The very first day, I was probably as nervous as Iand#8217;ve ever been for a World Cup. I was more relaxed today.and#8221;

2010 AUDI FIS WORLD CUP

Kitzbuehel, Austria – Jan. 23, 2010

Menand#8217;s Downhill

1. Didier Cuche, Switzerland, 1:53.74

2. Andrej Sporn, Slovenia, 1:54.02

3. Werner Heel, Italy, 1:54.13

4. Mario Scheiber, Austria, 1:54.25

5. Aksel Lund Svindal, Norway, 1:54.42

9. Bode Miller, Franconia, NH, 154.90

T-18. Marco Sullivan, Squaw Valley, CA; and Erik Fisher (Middleton, ID), 1:55.49

24. Steven Nyman, Sundance, UT, 1:55.70

26. Andrew Weibrecht, Lake Placid, NY, 1:55.83

41. Ted Ligety, Park City, UT, 1:57.16

44. Scott Macartney, Crystal Mountain, WA, 1:57.52