Weibrecht shines at Beaver Creek Birds of Prey opening day, Miller and Ligety have bad luck

Posted By: The Ski Channel on December 4, 2009 4:50 pm

Lake Placid native Andrew Weibrecht held strong today for the U.S. during the first day of racing at the Beaver Creek World Cup. The 23 year-old U.S. Ski Team athlete was the top American finisher in the Super Combined, placing 19th. Weibrecht is a speed specialist, and smoked the downhill portion of the event, finishing fifth. He then skied a clean slalom run, to stay in the top 20.

“I thought it was good slalom. It’s nothing to be desired but it’s all I could do with the amount of training I’ve had,” Weibrecht said.

Superstar Bode Miller was seventh in the downhill, and likely could have won as the Carrabassett Valley Academy graduate is strong in all racing disciplines. ”The snow is kind of grippy,” Miller said in between runs. “The course looks good, it’s a normal set. Nothing tricky, what we’ve been training on.”

U.S. Ski Team Head Coach Sasha Rearick was also confident before the slalom, but felt that Miller and Ligety would still have to push. ”It’s a pretty easy, even course, so they (Bode and Ted) will really have to get after it.”

As predicted, Miller was leading through the first split in the slalom, but as the course flattened before the final pitch, he lost his balance and went off course.

Fellow U.S. Ski Team frontrunner Ted Ligety straddled a gate, and didn’t finish the slalom. According to Rearick, though, he had the speed to succeed before hitting tough luck.

“In the slalom Ted was flying, I mean that was some impressive slalom skiing,” Rearick said. “A little unlucky with the straddle there up over the roll. In the past that’s a place where he has given way too much speed and he wanted to be aggressive there and you know the straddle happened there.”

All three men will again race the downhill tomorrow on the marquee race day at Beaver Creek. 


(Photo: Tom Kelly/USSA–Ted Ligety sports a ‘stache on his face tape at Beaver Creek. Note: The temps have been freezing and the athletes tape their faces to prevent frostbite.)

Beaver Creek, CO – Dec. 4, 2009
Men’s super combined

1. Carlo Janka, Switzerland, 2:32.26
2. Didier Defago, Switzerland, 2:32.69
3. Natko Zrncic-Dim, Croatia, 2:32.75
4. Jean Baptiste Grange, France, 2:32.83
5. Romed Baumann, Austria, 2:32.92
19. Andrew Weibrecht, Lake Placid, NY, 2:35.32