Men prepare for final World Cup downhill, Austrians want redemption

Posted By: The Ski Channel on March 9, 2010 6:25 am

Tomorrow, the final World Cup men’s downhill series begins in Garmisch. Pretty crazy how quickly this season is flying by!

The Austrians have been winless in downhill races this season. The Olympics were not kind to them either. Needless to say, they’re ready for a solid podium performance tomorrow. If today’s training runs were any indication of how the Garmisch series will be, they will indeed have their redemption. Austrian Hans Grugger (sounds ominously like Hans Grueber, villain from “Die Hard”, but that’s not important right now) landed on top during today’s training. His fellow countryman Mario Scheiber was second, and another Austrian, Michael Walchhofer was fourth. Andrej Sporn from Slovenia, coming in third, ruined the all-podium dream training run for the Austrians.

At the finals scoring will be limited to the top 15 finishers and participation is limited to the top 25 skiers of the disicpline according to World Cup standings, racers with more than 500 World Cup points in the overall standings and the Olympic and World Junior champions of the season. Ted Ligety stands in 26th. Bode Miller and Andrew Weibrecht both qualified, but neither will be competing. Bode has opted to end the season early, and Andrew is injured with a shoulder dislocation.

At this point, Didier Cuche will definitely win the downhill title with 496 points. In second right now is Carlo Janka with 348 points. This race could affect the overall World Cup standings–right now, Benjamin Raich, who has no downhill points, is in the overall lead ahead of Janka, Cuche and Aksel Lund Svindal, respectively. Raich didn’t train well today, we’ll see how he fares tomorrow.