Sullivan races to fifth in Lake Louis super G
LAKE LOUISE, Alberta ” Marco Sullivan of Squaw Valley dialed in the fastest run for U.S. Ski Team on Sunday, finishing with a personal super G-best fifth place at a World Cup race.
“I skied pretty well ” not flawlessly, but I had the intensity. I was a little disappointed with (Saturday’s) race, so I wanted to at least leave here with something, so I charged it and it worked out pretty good,” said Sullivan, who finished 23rd in Saturday’s downhill.
Austria’s Hermann Maier won the race to mark his 54th World Cup victory, his 24th in super G.
According to U.S. men’s Alpine head coach Sasha Rearick, Sullivan’s new benchmark comes on the heels of a summer of pushing his technique to new levels.
“Sullivan did a lot of giant slalom this summer ” probably four times the amount he normally does ” which has helped him to make better transitions in his turns and that work showed today,” Rearick said. “Sully did a great job. He had awesome skiing and great execution from top to bottom.”
Sullivan said another factor besides improving his technique has contributed to his improvement.
“I think the GS training this summer helped me get back to basics with my technique,” Sullivan said. “I also have some new Nordica super G skis that are pretty awesome, so with both of those factors I was able to sit in the start gate and be confident that I could compete with the best guys. That’s a feeling that had been lacking in my super G until now.”
Having skiing great Maier add another mark in his record books with a 54th World Cup victory was something that Sullivan says he was happy to be able to witness.
“Hermann Meier was impressive,” he said. “To see him on the top of the podium and crushing second place was pretty cool. It’s good to see the legend is still alive.”
Maier, who last won a World Cup race in January 2006 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, won in 1 minute, 29.84 seconds. Sullivan was timed in 1:30.71.
“To win here is a great feeling,” said Maier, whose training was hampered since September because of a disc problem in his lower back. “Today I risked. You can’t win a race without risk.”
Following his result in the super G, Sullivan now sits 20th in the overall World Cup standings. Daniel Albrecht of Switzerland leads.
The men’s team now heads south for the Audi Birds of Prey races in Beaver Creek, CO Dec. 2-7.
“We have two training runs in Beaver Creek prior to the downhill, so there’s not a lot of time to do anything,” Rearick said. “The Team is excited to get back to Beaver Creek. We always love it there and it’s great to be at home.”
Defending overall champion Bode Miller, who finished 16th in Saturday’s downhill, lost a ski before the halfway mark Sunday and did not finish. Miller skied past the finish area without talking to reporters.
1. Hermann Maier, Austria, 1:29.84
2. John Kucera, Canada, 1:30.43
3. Didier Cuche, Switzerland, 1:30.52
4. Michael Walchhofer, Austria, 1:30.63
5. Marco Sullivan, Squaw Valley, CA, 1:30.71
34. Andrew Weibrecht, Lake Placid, NY, 1:32.78
44. Kevin Francis, Bend, OR, 1:33.37
47. Bryon Friedman, Park City, UT, 1:33.66
48. Erik Fisher, Middleton, ID, 1:33.68
53. Steven Nyman, Provo, UT, 1:34.04
DNF: Scott Macartney (Crystal Mountain, WA), Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), TJ Lanning (Park City, UT)