Alpine ski racing | Marco Sullivan 19th in shortened downhill
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany – Veteran Squaw Valley racer Marco Sullivan finished 19th to lead the U.S. Ski Team in a shortened Audi FIS Alpine World Cup downhill in Germany on Saturday.
Birds of Prey downhill champion Christof Innerhofer of Italy claimed his third win of the season.
The race course was shortened after heavy snow covered the Kandahar course over night, making track preparation of the upper section difficult.
“I was good on top and then hit a little soft on the lower turns and that’s where I lost all my speed,” Sullivan said. “Everyone has been saying I took the tightest line through the turny midsection, but then I got caught up in the bumps. Still it was a good result. I’m 13th in the downhill standings right now and it’s pretty tight around that group. If I have a good result in Norway next week, I’ll have a shot at finishing out the season in the top 10.”
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Early starters Travis Ganong of Squaw Valley and Steven Nyman finished 33rd and 42nd, respectively.
“They did a good job clearing the snow so the track itself was hard snow, but you didn’t want to get out of the track at all,” Sullivan said. “The top flat especially got a little faster throughout the day and that made it really tough for Steven and Travis, who had early start bibs. You saw guys just outside the top 30 coming in with some really good finishes. Safe to say, it wasn’t the best day for the USA, but we’re going to turn that around in Norway.”
In his first race after taking triple gold at the World Championships, Ted Ligety finished third in the giant slalom in Garmisch on Sunday.
Ligety has now finished on the podium of all six World Cup giant slalom races this season, with four victories and two third-place finishes. He leads the GS standings 520-415 over Austrian Marcel Hirscher, who was second to Frenchman Alexis Pinturault in Pinturault’s first career GS win. Austrian Marcel Hirscher was second.
“Third place is not what you want to be getting at this stage, but I’ll take it,” Ligety said. “In the first run I just made a ton of little mistakes and in the second I was lucky not to get into too much soft snow.”
Ligety was fifth after the first run, .66 behind German Felix Neureuther, who tied for 12th with Truckee High grad Tim Jitloff after a big mistake.
Ligety and Jitloff will head to Sochi, Russia, to train on the 2014 Olympic venue prior to competing in Kvitfjell, Norway, in a downhill and super G.
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