Travis Ganong led a superb come from behind charge by the U.S. Ski Team in the Val Gardena super G, leading five U.S. Ski Team athletes into the points. Ganong started 58th and surpassed the pack to 24th in the race. Ganong was followed by teammates Steven Nyman and Andrew Weibrecht, who finished 29th and 30th , and just behind Tommy Biesemeyer, who clinched the 27th spot. Ligety grabbed the 25th spot to maintain second in the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup overall standings just shy of race winner Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway.
Ganong commented, “I’ve had really great speed in training. Today I was just approaching it like another training day. I was just trying to go for it as hard as I can and then react to any mistakes. Starting back there is tough. You have to have a really strong, strong run to punch it in there.”
Ganong has high aspirations for the coming races as he said, “This is a real true downhill. It’s not too turny, it’s fast, big jumps and it follows the nature contour of the mountain. We all love to go fast. I’m looking for top 10 tomorrow – that’s my goal.”
Ligety was not pleased with his performance when he commented, “This is not really a hill that suits me at all. It’s more absorbing the terrain than turning. I skied OK but didn’t run in a super advantageous spot. I need to score a lot more points to help me with the overall. Super G is good work for your GS – it’s in the same skill set. It’s good to work on terrain absorption on this hill. But I have a real chance on the hills where you have to make turns.”
The men continue their pursuit in the men’s downhill on Saturday before action shifts over to Alta Badia for Sunday’s giant slalom. Universal Sports TV will broadcast the Val Gardena super G at 11:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. EST.