Ganong 19th in gnarly Hahnenkamm downhill

Staff and U.S. Ski Team report
Mitchell Gunn / ESPATravis Ganong of Squaw Valley races down the Hahnenkamm course during an Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup downhill in Kitzbuhel, Austria, over the weekend. Ganong led the American men in 19th place.
ESPA | ESPA Europe

KITZBUEHEL, Austria – Dominik Paris became the first Italian since the great Kristian Ghedina to win the famed Hahnenkamm downhill on Saturday, while Squaw Valley racers Travis Ganong and Marco Sullivan led the American men in 19th and 24th place, respectively.

Both Steven Nyman and Ted Ligety missed a gate on the treacherous side hill just above the finish pitch.

“It was really tough conditions,” Ganong said. “The track got really icy and bumpy throughout the week. (Friday) night it was really cold and the surface got pretty hard. It was the real deal this year, definitely rough and tough, but it was fun.”

Paris mastered the gnarly Streif in Kitzbuehel to become the first Italian since 1998 to win the famed downhill – his second win of the season – while Canadian Erik Guay finished second ahead of Hannes Reichelt of Austria. American Andrew Weibrecht was 34th.

With the World Championships around the corner, from Feb. 4-17, Sullivan is 11th in the World Cup downhill standings and Ganong is 16th.

“I’m at the point now where I’m not just skiing to finish. I’m really charging and taking chances and risking more,” said Ganong, who recorded a career-best seventh-place finish at the Stelvio downhill in Bormio, Italy, in late December. “With that will come mistakes, but it also brings a lot more speed and a puts you in the fight for the podium. Things are going in the right direction for me and I can’t wait for World Champs.”

Ganong also competed in the combined on Sunday, but he skied out on his second slalom run.

MARIBOR, Slovenia – Lindsey Vonn powerfully mastered the Golden Fox in Maribor for a stunning giant slalom victory that marked the 59th Audi FIS Alpine World Cup win of her career.

Julia Mancuso of Squaw Valley finished eighth and Mikaela Shiffrin was 13th for her fourth GS top-15 this season. Hometown favorite Tina Maze was second to maintain her leads in both the overall and GS standings.

Vonn is now three wins short of Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell’s women’s record of 62. It was Vonn’s first GS win since March 9, 2012, when she clinched her fourth overall title with victory in Are, Sweden. All six of her podiums this season have been victories – three downhill, two super G, one giant slalom).

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