Alpine ski racing | Ganong posts career-best World Cup finish
VAL GARDENA, Italy – After missing all of the 2011-12 season with a torn Achilles, American Steven Nyman stormed out of the 39th start position to steal a victory on a foggy, snowy Saslong Classic after hours of delays Saturday.
Squaw Valley’s Travis Ganong, meanwhile, recorded a career-best 10th-place finish, while fellow Tahoe product Marco Sullivan was 18th.
The win marked the second of Nyman’s career, and fourth podium. His last podium came in 2007 at Beaver Creek. He last won in 2006, on the same challenging Saslong course.
I’m just happy to feel good again. My body’s feeling good,” Nyman said. “I had the flu, but battled that off. I had rib issues the first few races because I put it into the fence while training in Copper. The Achilles last year, the knees years before that and the back – this is the best gift I could have.”
Nyman also took a moment to compliment his teammates.
“I told Travis on the podium, ‘Dude, you’re next.’ The kid has so much speed,” Nyman said. “Our team’s good. We have to get that confidence back. Having Andi (Evers) here is great. he’s an amazing coach. He has this quiet confidence about him. He teaches us what we need to do.”
On Friday, Ganong led a back-of-the-pack charge by the U.S. Ski Team in the Val Gardena super G, starting 58th and finishing 24th to lead five U.S. Ski Team athletes into the points.
Ted Ligety was 25th, Tommy Biesemeyer was 27th, Nyman 29th and Andrew Weibrecht 30th.
“I’ve had really great speed in training,” Ganong said. “Today I was just approaching it like another training day. I was just trying to go for it as hard as I can and then react to any mistakes. Starting back there is tough. You have to have a really strong, strong run to punch it in there.”
Ligety had a dominating first run to set him up for a repeat win in a World Cup giant slalom in Alta Badia, Italy, by 2.04 seconds over Austrian Marcel Hirscher on Sunday.
Truckee High grad Tim Jitloff finished 17th.
It was Ligety’s 14th career GS victory, tying him for fourth all-time with Austrians Benni Raich and Hermann Maier. The win gave the U.S. Ski Team back-to-back wins after Nyman’s downhill victory the previous day.
Ligety is second in the overall standings, 614-508, to Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal.
The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup men’s tour swung through Madonna di Campiglio for a slalom Tuesday before taking a break for the holiday.