Squaw’s Bennett, Ganong post top-10 World Cup finishes in Austria
Squaw Valley alpine skiers Travis Ganong and Bryce Bennett continued to pile up top-10 finishes on the World Cup tour, competing at one of the most famous venues on the circuit last weekend in Kitzbuehel, Austria.
Ganong, 31, picked up his fourth top-10 finish of the season, claiming 10th in super-G on Friday with a time of 1 minute, 15.76 seconds to lead the U.S. team.
“I think I’m skiing pretty well,” Ganong said in an interview with U.S. Ski & Snowboard following the race. “I’ve been building up again since the break over Christmas … I always love coming back to Kitzbuehel. It’s a really fun hill because you don’t have to worry about all these little funky sections. You just ski fast and well and push on the ski. It’s really enjoyable to ski. I have a good feeling on my skis and it’s nice to come down in the top 10.”
Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud, 34, won the race with a time of 1:14.61.
The course at Kitzbuehel is renowned for its icy conditions, but this year’s snow, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard, allowed for more aggressive racing.
“Of all my years, it’s probably the easiest snow I’ve skied on (at Kitzbuehel),” said Ganong, who has been racing the Hahnenkamm for nine years. “You can really charge and push on the ski and take some more risk. It’s less of a tactical race and more of a normal ski race. It’s fun!”
Following super-G, athletes prepared to compete on one of the most notorious downhill courses on the circuit, the Streif. The legendary track celebrated its 80th anniversary of racing this weekend, and consistently attracts thousands of fans to the slopes for what’s been hailed as skiing’s biggest party.
Bennett, 27, went on to put together an eighth-place finish on the course, which is the best of his career on the Streif.
“I just had my plan and I was set on committing to it,” said Bennett in an interview with U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “It was a cool feeling — I haven’t quite experienced that at Kitzbuehel. I fully committed to it and it felt like I had a pretty solid ride. I was excited.”
Bennett finished with a time of 1:56.57. Austria’s Matthias Mayer, 29, won the race with a time of 1:55.59.
“I left everything on the hill and don’t have any regrets,” added Bennett on the finish. “I’m bummed, but I learned a lot and I’m excited to try and win this thing.”
Ganong finished in 30th place with a time of 1:57.71.
“(Too) many mistakes in the Downhill for me today, but hey that’s ski racing!!!” Ganong posted on Instagram. “But fired up for fellow (Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows) teammate Bryce Bennett for finishing 8th! Way to step up and execute running #1 out of the gate!”
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To many mistakes in the Downhill for me today, but hey that’s ski racing!!! But fired up for fellow @squawalpine teammate @brycebennett for finishing 8th! Way to step up and execute running #1 out of the gate! #makeitgood #mysquawalpine #weareskiing #pocsports @pacificcrestcoffee
Bennett reportedly sported jean shorts and a jean vest, with an American flag cape during Friday’s bib draw, and then selected the No. 1 bib, meaning he would open up the following day’s downhill race.
“What an experience to run bib #1 at Kitz!” Bennett posted to Instagram. “Thanks to everyone that came out to party hard and cheer us on! Until next year.”
Alpine racing on the World Cup tour continues today with a round of slalom in Schladming, Austria. The circuit then head’s to Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany this weekend for giant slalom and downhill.