Ligety, Weibrecht top 3 in Birds of Prey super G; Travis Ganong 6th
BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Ted Ligety and Andrew Weibrecht recorded podium finishes in second and third place, respectively, in the Audi Birds of Prey super G on Saturday. Travis Ganong of Squaw Valley placed sixth.
Due to foggy, snowy conditions at Beaver Creek, the jury decided to move the start down the hill for safety.
The early starters had a good go, allowing Weibrecht, Ganong and eventual winner Marcel Hirscher of Austria to lay down solid runs before the snow became thick. Expected winners Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud of Norway, among others, got caught as the visibility got worse and lost time in the middle of the top 30.
But as Ligety’s start number of 29 loomed, the sun poked through the clouds and the snow let up, allowing Ligety to throw down in front of the home crowd and ski into second.
“It’s tough when it’s like today — it’s a little bit inconsistent,” Ligety said. “The top couple guys who ran all had pretty good races and results and then the whole middle bunch were stuck in the brunt of the snow storm. Then during the last 20s, it got nice out again. I got lucky on that. It’s great to get a podium here in Beaver Creek.”
The result tied Ligety’s best World Cup super G, although he did win the FIS World Ski Championships super G in 2013. The last time he stood on a super G podium was in 2009 when he took second in Val d’Isere.
Weibrecht was stoked to step on his first-ever World Cup podium. The racer owns two Olympic medals — a silver and bronze in super G — but the closest he had come in a World Cup was fifth.
Just behind Ligety and Weibrecht was Ganong, who was only two tenths off of the podium. Ganong is showing his power as a speed skier this season.
The other American story was Tommy Biesemeyer, who took most of the last two seasons off due to knee injuries. He attacked the course, starting 42nd to take 11th place.
After winning two NorAms at Copper Mountain earlier in the week, Tommy Ford also skied into the points, taking 28th, while Steven Nyman was 35th, Truckee native Tim Jitloff 36th and Squaw Valley skier Bryce Bennett 42nd. Jared Goldberg DNFed.
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Several Truckee-Tahoe skiers will vie for Olympic medals next month.