Carlo Janka wins Wengen World Cup downhill, U.S. Ski Team’s Andrew Weibrecht 13th

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 16, 2010 9:40 am

Lake Placid skier Andrew Weibrecht grabbed a top-15 (the eighth one of his young career) for the U.S. Ski Team today in Wengen, finishing 13th in the Audi FIS World Cup downhill.  Swiss phenom Carlo Janka won the gold by .6 seconds after getting bumped to second by Bode Miller in yesterday’s super combined race. Canadian Manuel Osborne-Paradis finished second and Marco Buechel of Liechtenstein took third.

“Today was a good day for Andrew Weibrecht,” U.S. Men’s Head Coach Sasha Rearick said. “He executed his game plan from top to bottom.”

Saturday’s 2.7-mile Lauberhorn racecourse (which is the oldest and longest on tour) was gnarly and technical, and Weibrecht made it look easy.
”He skied fantastic through the difficult sections,” Rearick said. “The third time he’s here, to do that kind of race on this hill is impressive.”

For his part, Weibrecht liked the course and credited the conditions for suiting his style. “This is how World Cup snow should be,” Weibrecht said. “It’s basically ice top to bottom. We had that in Lake Louise and Beaver Creek, and then the last couple weeks in Italy, the snow’s been soft. It’s nice to be back on the ice. It’s what I prefer.”

Veteran champ Bode Miller looked like he was on his way to another gold at Wengen, holding the fastest time at the final interval but he got too low toward the bottom and missed a gate right before the finish. Miller won the Wengen World Cup downhill in 2007 and 2008, so another was well within his reach.

“I just hit one bump,” Miller said. “I couldn’t really see that great. It kind of got overcast today and it was tough light, and once I made that mistake, I came out of the turn with no speed at all.”

Fellow U.S. Ski Team star Steven Nyman finished 21st, a solid placing on the long course. “I skied well through a lot of the sections, but that carousel turn I sucked through,” Nyman said. Apparently, the Sundance, Utah native slid through the finish head first before righting himself and waving to fans

“Another positive step in the right direction,” Rearick said of Nyman’s recent comeback from injury. “The fastest part of the course, he skied really well.”

Erik Fisher also scored World Cup points, but coach Rearick was still looking for more. “We need to get him to charge,” Rearick said. “Keep his hands together, keep his hands up on the front of the boot, because he’s too talented to be skiing the way he is right now. He likes to scare himself, and right now he’s not scaring himself.”

Tomorrow the technical skiers will race the slalom while the speed athletes head to Kitzbuehel, Austria for the famed Hahnenkamm races. “Kitzbuehel was the goal for me besides the Olympics this year,” Miller noted. “I feel good. I feel my injuries coming around, the equipment feels great, on days like today, it comes down to execution.”

Nyman is also looking forward to the next race. “Kitz is a little shorter but more daunting,” he said. “I seem to be doing better in gnarlier sections.”


photo: USSA

Wengen, Switzerland – Jan. 16, 2010
Men’s Downhill

1. Carlo Janka, Switzerland, 2:32.23
2. Manuel Osborne-Paradis, Canada, 2:32.89
3. Marco Buechel, Liechtenstein, 2:33.05
4. Werner Heel, Italy, 2:33.06
T-5. Didier Cuche, Switzerland, and Andrej Jerman, Slovenia, 2:33.09
13. Andrew Weibrecht, Lake Placid, NY, 2:34.09
21. Steven Nyman, Sundance, UT, 2:35.10
28. Erik Fisher, Middleton, ID, 2:35.66
36. Marco Sullivan, Squaw Valley, CA, 2:37.28
41. Scott Macartney, Crystal Mountain, WA, 2:37.82
43. Travis Ganong, Squaw Valley, CA, 2:38.46
DNF – Bode Miller, Franconia, NH