Avon, CO – On a foggy, snowy day at Beaver Creek on Saturday, Austria’s Marcel Hirscher won his first super G on the Birds of Prey track.
With the race jury deciding to move the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup start down the hill for safety, the conditions were tough with soft snow on the side of the course and visibility changing throughout the race. The early guys had a good go, allowing Weibrecht (Lake Placid, N.Y.), Travis Ganong (Lake Tahoe, Calif.) and eventual winner Marcel Hirscher of Austria to lay down solid runs before the snow became thick to take his first World Cup super G win ever.
“I’m the first (one) surprised by my win. I’m still not in the comfort or safety zone in super G, so this result is great for me,” said Hirscher, the overall World Cup winner for the past four seasons. “I train so much in the tech disciplines, but I don’t get many training days in super G, it was only four days so far this season. But super G is kind of in between giant slalom and downhill, and today they were a couple of turns where you got to use your GS turns, and that made the win possible.”
Expected winners Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud of Norway, among others, got caught as the visibility worsened and lost time in the middle of the top 30. But as Ted Ligety’s start number of 29 loomed, the sun poked through the clouds and the snow let up, allowing the Park City, Utah native to throw down in front of the home crowd and ski into second.
“It’s tough when it’s like today—it’s a little bit inconsistent. The top couple guys who ran all had pretty good races and results and then the whole middle bunch were stuck in the brunt of the snow storm. Then during the last 20s, it got nice out again. I got lucky on that,” said Ligety after his finish. “It’s great to get a podium here in Beaver Creek.”
This result tied Ligety’s best World Cup super G result, although he did win the FIS World Ski Championships super G in 2013. The last time he stood on a super G podium was in 2009 when he took second in Val d’Isere, France.
After finishing fifth in Friday’s downhill, Weibrecht was stoked to step onto his first-ever World Cup podium. The racer owns two Olympic medals—a silver and bronze in super G—but the closest he had come in a World Cup was fifth. “Just to get that monkey [of not having a World Cup podium result] off my back—where now I don’t have to field that question anymore would be unbelievable,” said Weibrecht. “To have that race in the books—that’s one of the big things that’s missing from my resume.”
Just behind Ligety and Weibrecht was Ganong, who took sixth place. Only two tenths off of the podium, Ganong is showing his power as a speed skier this season. The other American story was Keene, N.Y.’s Tommy Biesemeyer, who took most of the last two seasons off due to knee injuries. He attacked the course, starting 42nd to take 11th place. “Being on the sidelines for two years and watching your competition get better and improve and get the results you dream of is obviously hard, but also inspiring,” said Biesemeyer. “It’s been a long two years. To come out here today and walk away with 11th is awesome.”
The annual Birds of Prey World Cup weekend in Beaver Creek will conclude with a giant slalom on Sunday.
FIS Alpine Ski World Cup
Birds of Prey – Beaver Creek, CO – Dec. 5, 2015
Men’s Super G
|7||NOR||KILDE Aleksander Aamodt||1:07.50||+0.60|