American men capped four days of FIS Southern Cup alpine racing on Tuesday with a giant slalom podium sweep led by Monday’s GS winner Will Gregorak. In four races, the U.S. Ski Team hauled nine of 12 podium spots from a pair of slalom and giant slalom races at Coronet Peak.
Joining Gregorak on the series’ closing podium was 2010 Olympian Tommy Ford in second followed by Warner Nickerson. Gregorak also stood atop the podium on Aug. 23 during the first GS with Nickerson in third. Monday’s 2nd place GS finisher Ben Griffin was the first New Zealander home in tenth place.
Swedish freeskier Jon Olsson, who has been training for a possible 2014 Olympic bid in giant slalom, shook off a disappointing race Monday to take 5th place honors on the day. However, Olsson didn’t start Tuesday off as he hoped as an unfavorable bib resulted in a 6th place worthy first run, nearly a second out of the lead.
“Luckily I managed to ski better in the second run and ended up having the best 2nd run time, something that is always fun when there is good guys around, I was real happy about it,” wrote Olsson.
Hosted by Japan, the FIS Southern Cup traditionally attracts the strongest ski racing fields in the Southern Hemisphere along with a deep pool of racers north of the equator who make New Zealand their August training grounds.
The U.S. Ski Team is no exception as they wind down a nearly three-week training camp later this week. The women’s U.S. Ski Team returned home following the Continental Cup races last week to refuel before moving to Chile in early September.
FIS Southern Cup
Coronet Peak, New Zealand
Men’s Giant Slalom – Aug. 24
1. Will Gregorak, Longmont, CO, 1:43.02
2. Tommy Ford, Bend, OR, 1:43.24
3. Warner Nickerson, Gilford, NH, 1:43.50
4. Colby Granstrom, Lake Stevens, WA, 1:43.61
5. Jon Olsson, Sweden, 1:43.62
Women’s Giant Slalom – Aug. 24
1. Chloe Fausa, Norway, 1:46.50
2. Christina Geiger, Germany, 1:47.92
3. Mizue Hoshi, Japan, 1:48.28
4. Vladislava Bureeva, Russia, 1:48.61
5. Kaori Mizukushi, Japan, 1:48.98