Aspen, CO – women’s giant slalom notes by Doug Haney:
- The gondola line was deep, deep, for Thursday’s public opening in Aspen. Why? It’s postcard perfect here for thebest opening in well over a decade. The snow is incredible and that is directly translated to the race hill. After the free ski on Friday, there was a lot of smiling going on.
- We had a pre-event pow wow last night with the press with Olympic gold medalists Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso and Maria Riesch as the guests of honor (pictured right). Our good friends at Ski Racing have got the vid: http://skiracing.com/
- In last night’s Team meeting, we watched a little half speed video of Coach Pete Anderson running the set. It looks good, really good. Lots of movement, some spots for major acceleration and some spots where you’ll have to pin it to win it. Good news is, we trained on this hill last weekend. That equals confidence and a little inside knowledge on how the terrain set up this season. This is a luxury most teams have prior to races on their home turf as the FIS does allow training on the race hill up to five days before a technical race. Usually, we don’t have the snow to make it happen in Aspen. We did this year and it’s sweet.
- Super Jules may launch first in the official start order at bib 18, but we’ve got a handful of forerunners kicking out before that and one of those is Kiley Staples. Kiley is good, really good and is going to give a sweet course report to Julia and the gang.
- Lindsey Vonn is 19 and Sarah Schleper owns 21. Yeah, things will be moving with the U.S. staff. But these late start numbers also mean we’ll have a lot of time to look at who’s fast and why. Should be fun. This Team is fired up.
- Megan McJames, Laurenne Ross and Leanne Smith (who snagged the spot on Team time trial) run late, but these girls will charge. It’s time to step it up. Read this: New faces could emerge for U.S. at Aspen Winternational
First run is a go at nooner ET with No. 2 at three. Our friends at NBC will air the showtomorrow at 1 p.m. ET, watch live-timing today and tune it in tomorrow to add color. It’s going to be a good show.