FILE UNDER -- Alpine

U.S. Ski Team down under: men's GS/SL team training in New Zealand

U.S. Ski Team down under: men’s GS/SL team training in New Zealand{mosimage}The fastest skiers in the United States are a week into their August training camp in New Zealand, and their coach says things are going great. “Training in NZ is fantastic, the most snow we have ever seen here,” says Phil McNichol, the head coach of the U.S. Ski Team’s men’s team.

The group in New Zealand includes the U.S. Ski Team’s giant slalom and slalom World Cup team. The team’s star, Bode Miller, is absent for this camp, saving his energy for the upcoming camp in Chile, with the downhill and super G skiers.

“If the weather holds it will be a historic camp,” says McNichol. He added that the team has run across the Austrian men’s World Cup team, which began training there several weeks before the Americans arrived. “They have had massive equipment changes throughout their groups.”

Among those changes are Hans Knauss and Mario Matt, who switched to Fischer skis, and Andreas Schifferer, who is now on Rossignol (according to their contract with the Austrian team, the French company is now allowed to sign A-Level members of the Austrian team).

“We have the French world cup men’s slalom team here with us training,” said McNichol in an e-mail. “We have had our first 3 days and look forward to getting a lot done over the next couple of weeks.”

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