Svindal leads final training, Ganong fourth at Beaver Creek
After winning back to back in Lake Louise Aksel Lund Svindal came into Beaver Creek as the odds-on favorite. But in the second training run he drifted way off the pace, finishing 17th, more than 1.7 seconds behind American run winner Travis Ganong. That, he said, wasn't close enough. Especially considering many of the top racers had elected to skip the middle training run.
Today (Nov. 29), in the third and final test before the Birds of Prey downhill, he turned things up a little, putting down the fastest run of the day, a 1:42.04, less than two tenths ahead of Frenchman Guillermo Fayed and Italian Siegmar Klotz. Ganong rode into fourth despite, he said, some mistakes at the top of the hill.
Svindal once swept the downhill and super G at Beaver Creek, but he also sustained severe injuries in a Nov. 27, 2007 crash, the worst of his career. “From when I crashed here and when I came back (for that double win) the number of times I skied this course in my head, because I knew it was going to be hard to come back.”
He said he watched video of his second training run a number of times before today's training. “(after) too many bad training runs, it's hard to think you're going to win. I spent some time with videos last night watching myself and it wasn't very good.” He said he focused on cleaning up his line at three specific places on course, at the Pump House, Screech Owl and the flat above Golden Eagle. The result was positive.
Klotz also has to be considered a major contender for the race win having placed second and third in the final two training runs has to have built his confidence. And Ganong, too, appears ready to make a mark here. He said he had a call while riding the chairlift up the hill this morning from former Beaver Creek winner and fellow Squaw Valley resident Daron Rahlves. He got some advice from the champ and implemented it in the Pump House to good advantage.
Steven Nyman said he had, perhaps, shaken off some of the uneasiness from a Copper Mountain training crash into the nets and was able, for the first time this season, to “let it go.” He punched into the top 15 with a 14 place finish. Marco Sullivan, a surprise podium finisher in Lake Louise, posted 20th, an indicator that he, too, found a way to attack the course. Ted Ligety, who had skipped the second trainer in order to train GS, and still in a bit of a tussle with a cold, skied to 24th. Andrew Weibrecht came from the 67th start posted 26th and Ryan Cochran-Siegle also made it into the top 30.
The Canadians were led, as usual, by Erik Guay in 13th. Unfortunately, none of the rest concluded in the top 30.
Svindal photo by Gepa
Beaver Creek (USA)
Nov. 29, 2012
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||FIS Points|
|1||16||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||1:42.04|
|52||60||400281||VAN HEEK Marvin||1991||NED||1:44.87|
|Did not start 1st run|
|71||191746||DE TESSIERES Gauthier||1981||FRA|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|68||491151||DE LA CUESTA Paul||1988||SPA|