Santa Caterina, Italy – Squaw Valley’s Travis Ganong took advantage of a new course for the men’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup tour and punched through for his career first victory, winning the Santa Caterina downhill on Sunday.
Austria’s Matthias Mayer was the only one who got close to Ganong, finishing nine-hundredths back. Italy’s Dominick Paris was third.
A traditional site for women’s downhill including World Championships in 1985 and 2005, it was first time for the men on the Deborah Campognini downhill, which Ganong used to his advantage. “It was a perfect run!” said Ganong. “I love to take on a new challenge and a new slope. I love the slope – the mountains are huge here and it’s fun skiing.”
Starting 16th, Ganong took charge of the race from the outset. He skied a very straight line to build a lead, then nailed a perfect sweeping turn through the final carousel to take the lead. It was his second career podium after finishing third in Kvitfjell, Norway last February.
“I went really, really straight in a couple areas. It was really smooth and I was able to carry smooth all the way down the whole,” Ganong added. “The last big carousel turn I did perfectly – I don’t think I could do that again if I tried.”
Steven Nyman of Provo, Utah, the winner in Val Gardena last weekend, was 15th as the Americans notched back-to-back downhill wins. Jared Goldberg (Holladay, Utah) was 24th with Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, Calif.) 29th.
The men’s downhill tour now gets a break until the Lauberhorn in Wengen, Switzerland Jan. 16-18. The tech team is in action with a slalom Jan. 6 in Zagreb, Croatia before heading to Adelboden, Switzerland.
Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup
Santa Caterina, Italy
Men’s Downhill – Dec. 28, 2014