Ganong Eighth; Leads Three Into Top 20 at Unforgiving Bormio Downhill
Travis Ganong led three Americans into the top 20 on the ominous, unforgiving Stelvio track in Bormio, Italy in eighth, his best downhill of the season so far.
Despite dark and difficult conditions, Italy’s fearless racehorse Dominik Paris was once again victorious in Bormio, with Swiss powerhouse Marco Odermatt in second, and teammate Niels Hinterman in third—his second consecutive third-place finish in downhill. The victory is Paris’ sixth career World Cup downhill win in Bormio, including 2012 and four successive between 2017 and 2019. This surpasses the men's record for most World Cup downhill wins at a specific ski resort, which was previously five by the Swiss legend Didier Cuche in Kitzbuehel, Austria.
There’s such a high level of skiing on the men’s speed circuit, that when the athletes encounter a track as ominous as the Stelvio, success follows the guys that got up and were willing to ski and push. Tuesday’s race unfolded as anticipated, with Paris executing on his home hill and taking the decisive victory. Surprisingly, Switzerland’s Beat Feuz skied out, making it the first time he’s DNFed in a World Cup downhill since Kitzbuehel in 2017.
“It's so icy and so different from all of the downhills we've been on all season, so it's like the first real test of the year in downhill,” reflected Ganong. “It's gnarly, it's scary, it's bumpy—people pulled out of the race because of the conditions...classic Bormio style."
Ganong tested a new pair of skis, with a new plate and a new binding, after skiing on them in the second training run. He said, "...it was different but in a good way. After one run on them, I thought 'OK, I know what to expect now,' and it was the right choice, obviously, because I had a good feeling on the snow today and I felt like I could play with the hill, which is not easy to do in Bormio because most of the time you're just playing catch-up and not in charge, and it's a fight. The feeling I had today was more like I was in charge and I was able to play with the hill. In one section, particularly coming into the traverse...I totally changed my plan mid-turn and went dead-straight, threw the skis sideways for a sec and locked in and from there down I was second from that split all the way to the finish behind Odermatt.”
”It was a really solid run," Ganong added. “I think Bormio is where I had my first top 10 in my career and my first World Cup points, I believe, in downhill...I've had a lot of good races here over the years."
Jared Goldberg snagged 15th, making it his best result of the season so far, while Ryan Cochran-Siegle landed in 20th. Steven Nyman finished just outside of the points, in 31st by one-hundredth of a second. Erik Arvidsson was 37th, Bryce Bennett 39th, and Sam Morse 46th.
Up next, the men will take on back-to-back super-G races on the Stelvio. Cochran-Siegle won last season's super-G in Bormio. This marks the American men's only World Cup super-G win in the last 15 years. AfterBennett's win in the Val Gardena, Italy downhill, the American men could win a men's downhill and super-G event in a single World Cup season for the first time since the 2007 season.
HOW TO WATCH
*All times EST.
Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021
4:00 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women's Slalom, run 1 - LIVE, Lienz, AUT, Streaming Peacock
5:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men's Super-G - LIVE, Bormio, ITA, Streaming Ski and Snowboard Live, Streaming Peacock
7:00 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women's Slalom, run 2 - LIVE, Lienz, AUT, Streaming Peacock
Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021
5:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men's Super-G - LIVE, Bormio, ITA, Streaming Peacock