World Cup racing: Bode Miller, Marco Sullivan lead U.S. downhill contingent
December 22, 2008
VAL GARDENA, Italy ” Reigning World Cup overall champion Bode Miller led a crew of five American racers who charged to top-10 finishes, including Truckee’s Marco Sullivan, in Saturday’s Audi FIS World Cup downhill in Val Gardena, Italy.
The feat marked the first time five American men had finished in the top-10 at a World Cup.
“To stand in the finish and watch teammate after teammate come down and punch in there is awesome,” said Sullivan, who finished fourth. “There was a lot of energy in the finish and a lot of excitement with the coaches. It was just a good day and I think the team is going to build off this weekend.”
Miller took second place behind Michael Walchhofer of Austria, finishing in 1:50.9 to Walchhofer’s winning time of 1:50.57. Sullivan, fresh off a fifth-place finish in Friday’s super G, posted a time of 1:51.25. Canadian Manuel Osborne-Paradis slipped into third place in 1:51.11.
Following Sullivan were Erik Fisher (Middleton, Idaho) finishing seventh, Steven Nyman (Provo, Utah) ninth and TJ Lanning (Park City, Utah) 10th. Scott Macartney (Crystal Mountain, Wash.) was 15th and Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, N.Y.) 28th, allowing all U.S. men who competed to finish in the top 30.
Sullivan, who is no stranger to success in the World Cup arena, said he’s happy to have maintained consistency so far this season.
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“To be in the top five twice in two days is really cool,” said Sullivan, whose fifth place on Friday matched his career best in super G. “I feel like I’m skiing really solid right now and I just need that one more piece of the puzzle to really find the intensity to go for the win. But, I’ve been skiing really strong and I’m happy. I’m in a good place.”
1. Michael Walchhofer, Austria, 1:50.57
2. Bode Miller, Franconia, N.H., 1:50.95
3. Manuel Osborne-Paradis, Canada, 1:51.11
4. Marco Sullivan, Squaw Valley, Calif., 1:51.25
5. Erik Guay, Canada, 1:51.33
7. Erik Fisher, Middleton, Idaho, 1:51.90
9. Steven Nyman, Provo, Utah, 1:51.98
10. TJ Lanning, Park City, Utah, 1:52.09
15. Scott Macartney, Crystal Mountain, Wash., 1:52.54
28. Andrew Weibrecht, Lake Placid, N.Y., 1:53.14