Relatively solid day for U.S. Ski Team men at Beaver Creek World Cup

Posted By: The Ski Channel on December 5, 2009 1:11 pm

The U.S. Ski Team had a solid day today at the Audi FIS Birds of Prey World Cup downhill at Beaver Creek, with three men in the top 15. Bode Miller placed fourth, followed by up-and-comer Andrew Weibrecht in 11th, with Marco Sullivan in 14th. Although today didn’t pan out exactly as any of them had hoped, their performances helped further solidify their spots in the top 30 in the current World Cup downhill standings.

“It didn’t really go wrong,” Sullivan said. “I just didn’t have the race I wanted. I made a couple mistakes up on the pitch. A couple turns where I got pulled a little bit low. Overall I carried my speed pretty well at the pitch. I lost a little speed on the flat before the Golden Eagle jump but skied well at the bottom. Considering the with the way week has been going with training and stuff, it was a good run.”

Like Miller, Sullivan was skiing on new equipment. “I’m still skiing on Nordica, but it’s new equipment and I haven’t really had a chance to test it on snow like this,” Sullivan said. “It wasn’t that comfortable. You have to be subtle with your movement and aggressive with your line. The snow here is hard and compact. Really unique.”

U.S. Ski Team athlete and Beaver Creek podium alum Steven Nyman also wasn’t 100% thrilled with his race. “I had higher expectations for today,” Nyman said. “I skied decent but I got kicked around. I wasn’t moving over the skis like I wanted to, but I had fun. It was a lot of fun coming down, and good to jump. And my knee is getting better, so I was happy with that.”

Nyman has been returning off of a knee injury, so was slightly concerned about jumping back into the World Cup tour. “I was pretty nervous with the big jumps today, curious to see how my knee would handle it. But I still have two legs,” Nyman quipped.

Fellow comeback kid and Crystal Mountain local Scott Macartney (who had knee surgery last winter) also was disappointed (he skied off course), and was suffering from muscle stiffness and a sore back. The season is still young, though, and the U.S. Ski Team is strong.

“It’s definitely going to be a race to get to the Olympics,” said Nyman. “It’s pretty cool. All of these guys (on the U.S. Team) are stepping it up, so we’ll see what happens.”

Next up is the GS tomorrow, and Miller and Weibrecht are set to ski with the technical specialists. The rest of the speed crew will head to Val D’Isere, and Nyman will ski in a few Nor-Am races. ”I’m going to do two Nor-Am downhills and a Super G to get warmed up and more comfortable on my skis,” the Utah-native said.