Squaw’s Travis Ganong 18th, Sullivan 22nd in Hahnenkamm downhill

USSA report

KITZBUEHEL, Austria — Thirty racers started a fast, dark and bumpy Hahnenkamm downhill on Saturday, but only 24 made it to the finish line. Andrew Weibrecht led a trio of surviving Americans in 13th, while Squaw Valley skiers Travis Ganong and Marco Sullivan finished 18th and 22nd, respectively.

The race, which started from a lower start position due to weather conditions, was officially cancelled after bib 30 crossed the line.

Italy’s Peter Fill was declared the official winner, with Switzerland’s Beat Fuez and Carlo Janka in second and third.

Just making it across the finish line was a victory for 24 racers, as the story of the day was the challenging conditions that saw overall World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal or Norway, and three members of the Austrian team, crash in spectacular fashion. Svindal, however, did walk away after his crash and appeared OK.

“I’m happy to be at the finish,” Sullivan said. “Even though we’re the best racers in the world, it’s still stressful to run this thing. It’s scary every time you kick out of the start, especially when you see guys like Aksel and Reichelt crash — those guys never crash.”

“Tough conditions today,” Ganong added. “Super dark, super bumpy and lots of wind, just really dangerous with the conditions. I’m not satisfied at all. I have higher expectations, and I know that I am capable of a lot more. But I’m just happy that I’m alive, I’m here and moving on.”

Steven Nyman, who was fifth on the Hahnenkamm last year, was well on his way to what may have been a podium finish when he, too, crashed.

“It’s been a wild ride watching this today,” said Nyman, who was uninjured in his fall. “Hannes (Reichelt) going down, (Georg) Streitberger going down — Austria has lost five guys on this course this week. So I’m glad to just be in one piece.”

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