U.S. Ski Team men score points in Val Gardena, Canadian Osborne-Paradis wins

Posted By: The Ski Channel on December 19, 2009 8:42 am

In spite of a slew of injuries that took out Canadian World Champion John Kucera, the country up north claimed today’s World Cup downhill race in Val Gardena, Italy. Canadian Manuel Osborne-Paradis notched his third career World Cup win, and his first in Europe. “I didn’t actually think I’d be at this press conference following my run,” Osborne-Paradis said at the standard World Cup press conference for the top three performers.

The 25 year-old Vancouver native made a mistake near the top section of the course, but speedily recovered. Osborne-Paradis likes the Saslong hill, as he nabbed a bronze medal at the same event last season. “My target was to make the podium,” Osborne-Paradis later told CTV. “But to win… It’s great ahead of the Olympics.”

Austrian Mario Scheiber was second, 0.13 seconds behind Osborne-Paradis, while Swiss racer Ambrosi Hoffmann and Johan Clarey of France tied for third, 0.25 seconds behind the Canadian. 

As for the Americans, ‘points’ was the word of the day. The U.S. Ski Team didn’t repeat last year’s amazing performance when they stacked the top 10, but they did score lots of World Cup points, with nearly everyone placing in the top 24. Bode Miller finished ninth, Marco Sullivan 12th, Steven Nyman 18th and Erik Fisher 19th. Coming off a recent injury, Scott Macartney raced to 23rd and Andrew Weibrecht took 24th. “Every one of the guys stepped up,” U.S. head coach Sasha Rearick said. “Six guys in the top 24 – that’s a lot better than we’ve been doing, so it’s a big, definite positive step in the right direction. We saw good skiing out of a lot of the guys.”

“I skied well,” said Miller, who moved into sixth in the overall World Cup downhill standings. “I didn’t have any errors. I took some risks. It’s tough to take risks on this course, because risk doesn’t necessarily make you win, but a lot of times it makes a couple of little mistakes that make you lose.”

Click here for more of what Miller had to say following his run. (For audio of an interview from Steven Nyman click here, and from Marco Sullivan, here.)

Tomorrow the U.S. Ski Team technical skiers (including Miller) head to Alta Badia for the GS. 


Photo: Haney/USSA