FILE UNDER -- Alpine

Ross, Koznick, Knight win U.S. time trials for World Cup berths

Ross, Koznick, Knight win U.S. time trials for World Cup berths{mosimage}LOVELAND VALLEY, Colo. — The U.S. Ski Team held three time trials this week at Loveland Valley and Copper Mountain in Colorado for World Cup start spots in giant slalom and super G as the alpine World Cup heads to North American.

Wednesday, Lauren Ross clinched a giant slalom start in a better-of-two-runs time trial at Loveland; the next day, Chip Knight won the men’s time trial at Loveland. Friday, Kristina Koznick ended the trials when she won a super G time trial at Copper, edging Kaylin Richardson by seven-hundredths of a second.

The World Cup, which opened Oct. 22-23 in Soelden, Austria, resumes Nov. 26-27 with men’s downhill and super G at Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies and then heads to the VISA Birds of Prey Dec. 1-4 at Beaver Creek, Colorado. The women start the continuous racing phase of their schedule Dec. 2-4 at Lake Louise with two downhills and a super G, then head to Aspen, Colorado, for the Sirius Satellite Radio Aspen Winternational with a super G, GS and slalom Dec. 9-11.

“This was very good with Lauren winning the time trial again, as she did in Soelden,” head coach Patrick Riml said. “She was two-tenths ahead of Stacey [Cook], who was another .2 ahead of Kaylin.

“Lauren’s been skiing very well and she’s shown she can be in that second run. I think this is when she’ll make that breakthrough, which would really boost her confidence.”

Koznick’s time trial earned a place at Lake Louise for the two-time Olympic tech skier. Coaches have not decided who will run the super G at Aspen. “We’ll see what happens at Lake Louise,” Riml said.

On the men’s side, GS/slalom head coach Mike Morin said Knight convincingly beat defeated Tom Rothrock and Jesse Marshall for one of two open GS starts Dec. 3 at Beaver Creek. The first of two NorAm GS races Nov. 28-29 at Keystone will be used to fill the final open GS start, Morin said.

“We’ve got a new format, a two-run mock race with the first run serving as the time trial, and Chip won the time trial. Making it a one-run trial increases the pressure, which is what they’ll face in the World Cup, so we think it works well,” according to Morin.

Courtesy USSA News Bureau

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