Sullivan earns two World Cup top-10s |

Sullivan earns two World Cup top-10s

KITZBUEHEL, Austria – Truckee’s Marco Sullivan posted two top-10 finishes this past weekend, placing sixth in a downhill Saturday and storming out to a 10th-place finish after starting 52nd in a super G on Friday.

Bode Miller of Bretton Woods, N.H., survived a wild turn up top and then nailed the bottom of the fabled Streif speed run to finish in a tie for second place in the 68th Hahnenkamm downhill. Didier Cuche of Switzerland, already the DH leader, won to take the overall points lead.

High winds at the top of the course convinced organizers to lower the start by about 100 meters, dropping it below the Mausfalle, the first major jump on the Streif.

Cuche covered the 3.2-kilometer course in 1:52.75. Miller and Austrian Mario Scheiber each finished in 1:53.02. Sullivan was timed in 1:53.45.

Two-time Olympian Scott Macartney of Crystal Mountain, Wash., finished 33rd on his 30th birthday, although he crashed coming off the final jump.

He was transported by helicopter to a Kitzbuehel hospital where he was stabilized, then flown to Innsbruck where his injuries were being evaluated.

Dr. Charles Rich, U.S. Team Ski Team neurosurgeon who accompanied him from the mountain to the hospital in Innsbruck, said Saturday night Macartney had suffered a severe concussion and will remain in the hospital for further observation, the doctor said.

Sullivan, who was one of Macartney’s teammates on each of the last two Olympic Teams, said while he was happy with his performance, he couldn’t help but be concerned about the condition of his friend.

“I’m satisfied with my run, but my thoughts really were with Scott. I saw his crash on TV at the start before I went and I was definitely a little distracted,” Sullivan said. “I knew I could ski well but I was just worried for him. I had a solid run and I’m definitely happy with sixth. My goal this month was to be top-10 in every race and so far I’m on track.”

Sullivan was seventh in the 78th Lauberhorn downhill in Wengen, Switzerland, on Jan. 13 before his two top-10s in Austria.

“Physically, I feel really good right now. It’s funny how ” when you’re in ‘the zone’ ” everything clicks,” Sullivan said. “When you’re not in that place, you’re trying everything you can to make things happen. Today, I just kind of skied because I was thinking about Mac, but I’m skiing so well I still came in sixth.”

Through 22 races, Cuche leads with 765 points, with Austrian Benjamin Raich at 744 and Miller third with 713; American Ted Ligety is sixth overall.

On a course shortened by nearly 60 meters because of concerns about fog and high winds on the upper section of the Streif, Sullivan produced his best World Cup super G result, coming down 10th with a time of 1:16.17. Miller finished 12th in 1:16.23, while Liechtensteiner Marco Buechel won in 1:15.44.

“I was watching TV in the top lodge before I went to the start,” Sullivan said. “I knew the trouble spots, could see where holes were developing ” but it still looked do-able. There was a little fog for some of the early racers but then it cleared out.

“I got the start area and heard [Canadian] Robbie Dixon had punched in to sixth place, and he started [43rd]. So, I thought, ‘All right, game on!’ I charged it from the start.”

He said the super G run was relatively easy, “and very easy compared to the downhill here, which is obviously ridiculously hard. We miss the top section but a lot of people get intimidated because of the Kitzbuehel name. But, really, except for those first 20 seconds up top, it can be a mild course. There are some subtle places where you obviously need to nail it. And when you get to the Hausberg [the last major jump on the 2.3K track], you fear for your life. And then it’s 20 seconds to the end.”

1. Didier Cuche, Switzerland, 1:52.75

2. (tie) Bode Miller, Bretton Woods, NH, and Mario Scheiber, Austria, 1:53.02

4. Michael Walchhofer, Austria, 1:53.03

5. Hermann Maier, Austria, 1:53.36

6. Marco Sullivan, Squaw Valley, 1:53.45

19. Steven Nyman, Provo, Utah, 1:54.77

33. Scott Macartney, Crystal Mountain, Wash., 1:55.91

43. Ted Ligety, Park City, Utah, 1:56.71.

1. Marco Buechel, Liechtenstein, 1:15.44

2. Hermann Maier, Austria, 1:15.60

3. (tie) Didier Cuche, Switzerland, and Mario Scheiber, Austria, 1:15.77 each

5. John Kucera, Canada, 1:15.87

10. Marco Sullivan, Squaw Valley, 1:16.17

12. Bode Miller, Bretton Woods, N.H., 1:16.23

34. Ted Ligety, Park City, Utah, 1:17.22

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