Travis Ganong caps career-best World Cup season
LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland — The 2014 Audi FIS Alpine World Cup season came to a close Sunday in Lenzerheide, where World Cup giant slalom champion Ted Ligety led the USA with a 12th-place finish in the slalom finale.
Ligety, who won the giant slalom on Saturday to secure his fifth career title in the event, finished his season fourth in the overall World Cup standings.
Squaw Valley skier Travis Ganong, meanwhile, ended his best World Cup season to date, highlighted by several top-10 finishes, including a fifth place in the Olympic downhill in Sochi and a podium finish in Kvittjell, Norway. He finished ninth in the downhill standings, 19th in the super G and 23rd overall.
“Across the board, it’s been a great season,” said Sasha Rearick, U.S. men’s alpine head coach. “We’ve had some highs and lows for sure, but I was really stoked to see the improvement through the year with the guys. We started off slow in speed, but progressively got better and better. Travis (Ganong) finished off the season with a bunch of top-10s and then on the podium. Those kinds of results were a testament to the fight that the guys did through the season.”
American David Chodounsky finished Sunday’s slalom in 18th, etching him into 19th in the slalom standings for the season. Bode Miller did not finish his second run, but he still rounded out his season in eighth overall, eighth in the downhill and fifth in the super G standings. Olympic silver medalist Andrew Weibrecht finished 26th in the super G standings.
Ultimately, the race and the day went to Austrian Marcel Hirscher, who claimed both the slalom title as well as the World Cup overall title.
Hirscher took the slalom title from Felix Neureuther of Germany, who settled for second with Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway third. Hirscher also bested Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway and Alexis Pinturault of France, who earned second and third, respectively, in the overall.
Shiffrin wins slalom crown
Olympic slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin closed out her career-best season with a 12th-place finish in a foggy GS finale, one day after earning her second straight slalom title with a win in Lenzerheide.
Anna Fenninger of Austria cut through the clouded, misty top section to seal the victory, which earned her the World Cup giant slalom title to put alongside the overall globe she won the previous day.
Shiffrin, who turned 19 on Thursday, ended the season ranked sixth overall and seventh in GS.
Olympic gold medalist Julia Mancuso of Squaw Valley did not race Sunday but finished her season ranked 15th in both the super G and downhill and 23rd in the overall.
Truckee native Stacey Cook gained momentum throughout the season, tying Mancuso for 15th in the super G standings while finishing 18th in downhill and 28th overall. Leanne Smith also produced a solid year with 19th in super G and 30th in downhill.
The American skiers will compete this week in the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships at Squaw Valley.
“U.S. Championships just feels like going home,” Shiffrin said. “Going to Nationals at the end of every year just brings me back to the ground. I’ve had such an amazing season, but it’s nice to remember all my friends and all the coaches that I’ve seen and had along the way. It’s a really nice place to compete too. So, it’s going to be a nice week.”