GEORGETOWN, Colo. — Austrian World Cup regular Philipp “Schoergi” Schoerghofer, who finished 10th in Soelden last month, executed two solid runs in the opening NorAm giant slalom race of the 2013-14 season at Loveland Ski Area for a quick victory ahead of the early December races in Beaver Creek.
“It was a very tight race after the first run, so I had to push hard and risk 100 percent. It was not bad — the second run —and I’m lucky to win,” said Schoerghofer in the finish area. “I’m training in Vail (for the Beaver Creek World Cup), so here is an opportunity for good races and good training.”
Italy’s Luca De Aliprandini finished second while BC Alpine’s Tyler Werry, an invitee to Canadian development team projects this summer and fall, produced the fastest second run time and battled his way from bib 47 to ultimately finish third. Although he podiumed in the Canadian national championship giant slalom last March, his previous best NorAm finish was sixth last season in Nakiska.
“The last couple of days my training really stepped up, so I felt really confident coming in,” noted Werry. “I was pretty nervous to see where I stacked up against everyone, but at the end of the day this is awesome…. I’m feeling really good right now with my skiing; so as long as I have a good run, it’s going to be fast.”
With 140 athletes on the start list and less than three seconds separating first run winner Brennan Rubie of the U.S. Ski Team from the final skier to qualify for second run amidst a field of World Cup standouts, there were no free lunches to be had on the race hill. Bode Miller foreran the first run and B Team member Ryan Cochran-Siegle was a forerunner in the second.
“Here it’s much harder than in Vail, it’s a bit more water in it,” Schoerghofer commented on the conditions, “so it’s very good.”
Rubie finished just off the podium in fourth, but he was still encouraged by his result. After recovering from a season-ending injury suffered last winter when he caught an edge in the finish area after a Europa Cup downhill training run in Val D’Isere, France, in January, Rubie has returned strong and is ready for racing.
“I’m really stoked because I hadn’t skied in a long time — broke my ankle last year and blew out my shoulder — so I just came here trying to make some good turns and I did that first run. I had a little bit of a tougher time with the second one,” remarked Rubie, who feels as though he has made a complete recovery. “I’m lucky because (now) I get to focus on skiing, and there’s nothing holding me back.”
For the second year in a row, NorAm races at Loveland are free of cost to all competitors as a result of an agreement for broad support from philanthropist Dan Leever, The Vail Snow Sports Foundation, and MacDermid, Inc., to provide affordable ski racing opportunities.
Results – Men’s NorAm Giant Slalom Loveland Ski Area, Colo., Nov. 23, 2013
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|2||24||990116||DE ALIPRANDINI Luca||1990||ITA||53.76||52.88||1:46.64||7.50|
|21||31||30149||SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier||1980||ARG||54.83||53.64||1:48.47||22.80|
|33||35||40553||CHEVALIER Luc Henri||1992||AUS||55.16||54.03||1:49.19||28.82|
|39||60||421840||HAUG Andreas Willumsen||1989||NOR||56.22||53.87||1:50.09||36.35|
|45||91||60236||VAN DEN BROECKE Dries||1995||BEL||56.08||54.33||1:50.41||39.02|