It’s always a special time of year when the men’s World Cup tour rolls into the Italian Dolomites. One of the most dramatic mountain ranges in the world, breathtaking views and spectacular racing action are to be expected down the legendary Saslong slope in Val Gardena.

For Friday’s super-G, however, heavy morning snow and fog had racers and fans worried. Although the snow let off as the morning progressed and was a non-factor by the time racing kicked off just past noon local time, intermittent fog and flat light played tricks on the field throughout the race.

As always in Val Gardena, terrain management through the Saslong’s countless rolls and undulations is essential in order to have a successful race run. Heavy flat light made navigating the labyrinth of terrain that much more difficult.

American veteran Steven Nyman, although on the start list for the super-G, elected not to race in favor of making his return from injury in Saturday’s downhill. Val Gardena is a special place for the big man as all three of his World Cup wins have been on the Saslong with the most recent coming in in 2014.

“It feels good to play under the Saslong again!” Nyman said via Instagram. “I’m happy to say I will be racing tomorrow in the downhill. I’m taking today’s super-G off to rest the knee and prepare for tomorrow. Best of luck to my teammates!”

After a lengthy fog delay midway through the top-30 skiers, the fog rolled back in to the middle Ciaslat section of the course and forced the abandonment of the race after bib 38 after it was clear the fog was not going to clear. Although over half of the field was not able to start, the results will stand.

It was Germany’s day with Josef Ferstl taking his maiden World Cup win and Germany’s first men’s super-G win since 1991 when Markus Wasmeier won in Lake Louise. Ferstl, wearing bib two, took full advantage of his early start number and masterfully navigated his way down the course. Ferstl also has winning in his blood as his father, Sepp, won the Kitzbuehel downhill back-to-back in 1978 and 1979.

“It’s unbelievable,” an ecstatic Ferstl said after the race. “It’s an amazing day for me and it’s my first time on the podium. A win is unbelievable. It was a great run but I was a little but lucky with the weather. After the 30 it was really, really tough for the other guys. After that I realized that it was a podium and maybe a win.”

Following Ferstl on the podium was the Austrian duo of Max Franz and Matthias Mayer who finished only 0.02 and 0.10 seconds back in second and third, respectively.

“I’m very happy with second place,” Franz said. “Difficult day with the weather changing but I’m happy. My feeling is really good and I had a really good training yesterday and I want to push a little bit more.”

The Americans were led by Travis Ganong in 17th place, followed closely by Thomas Biesemeyer in 18th and Andrew Weibrecht finishing in 28th. Unfortunately, the rest of the American contingent of Jared Goldberg, Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Bryce Bennett, and Wiley Maple were unable to start due to the fog and subsequent ending of the race.

For Ganong, who has admitted to struggling thus far in a season where the two-time World Cup winner hasn’t finished better than 16th, Friday’s race was just another stepping stone towards rebuilding his confidence and race-winning form we are so used to seeing out of the cool Californian.

“I haven’t had a lot of confidence, it’s been kind of a rough start to my season,” Ganong shared in the finish. “I’m just trying to build some confidence from race to race and find the speed and find the race gear. When it’s going well it’s super easy; when it’s not going well it’s really hard and you’re questioning everything and it’s hard to get it back. Ski racing is such a simple sport and the margins are so small … it’s hard to find that extra little time sometimes.”

Saturday is another opportunity for the American Downhillers to shine as some strong training results by Goldberg and Maple could indicate a turning point for the U.S. after a lackluster start to the downhill season in Lake Louise and Beaver Creek. Start time for Saturday’s downhill is set for 12:15pm CET.

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Top 10

  1. Josef Ferstl (GER) – Head/Head/Head
  2. Max Franz (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  3. Matthias Mayer (AUT) – Head/Head/Head
  4. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) – Head/Head/Head
  5. Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  6. Andreas Sander (GER) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  7. Adrien Theaux (FRA) – Head/Head/Head
  8. Peter Fill (ITA) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  9. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) – Head/Head/Head
  10. Beat Feuz (SUI) – Head/Head/Head

Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time Diff. FIS Points WC Points
 1  2  202059 FERSTL Josef 1988 GER  1:35.28  0.00  100.00
 2  7  53817 FRANZ Max 1989 AUT  1:35.30  +0.02  0.23  80.00
 3  4  53902 MAYER Matthias 1990 AUT  1:35.38  +0.10  1.13  60.00
 4  13  422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR  1:35.50  +0.22  2.49  50.00
 5  9  53980 KRIECHMAYR Vincent 1991 AUT  1:35.58  +0.30  3.40  45.00
 6  8  200379 SANDER Andreas 1989 GER  1:35.66  +0.38  4.31  40.00
 7  12  192746 THEAUX Adrien 1984 FRA  1:35.67  +0.39  4.42  36.00
 8  19  292455 FILL Peter 1982 ITA  1:35.80  +0.52  5.89  32.00
 9  5  421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund 1982 NOR  1:35.88  +0.60  6.80  29.00
 10  1  511383 FEUZ Beat 1987 SUI  1:35.99  +0.71  8.05  26.00
 11  37  54076 KOECK Niklas 1992 AUT  1:36.23  +0.95  10.77  24.00
 12  3  102263 GUAY Erik 1981 CAN  1:36.24  +0.96  10.88  22.00
 13  20  561216 KLINE Bostjan 1991 SLO  1:36.40  +1.12  12.70  20.00
 14  30  100558 COOK Dustin 1989 CAN  1:36.60  +1.32  14.96  18.00
 15  17  50742 REICHELT Hannes 1980 AUT  1:36.66  +1.38  15.64  16.00
 16  22  51215 BAUMANN Romed 1986 AUT  1:36.70  +1.42  16.10  15.00
 17  18  530874 GANONG Travis 1988 USA  1:36.71  +1.43  16.21  14.00
 18  21  531452 BIESEMEYER Thomas 1989 USA  1:36.74  +1.46  16.55  13.00
 19  14  511513 CAVIEZEL Mauro 1988 SUI  1:36.84  +1.56  17.68  12.00
 20  25  202535 DRESSEN Thomas 1993 GER  1:36.86  +1.58  17.91  11.00
 21  11  291459 PARIS Dominik 1989 ITA  1:37.02  +1.74  19.72  10.00
 22  26  194298 GIEZENDANNER Blaise 1991 FRA  1:37.10  +1.82  20.63  9.00
 23  31  54009 WALDER Christian 1991 AUT  1:37.11  +1.83  20.74  8.00
 24  10  293006 INNERHOFER Christof 1984 ITA  1:37.14  +1.86  21.08  7.00
 25  36  194858 ALLEGRE Nils 1994 FRA  1:37.30  +2.02  22.90  6.00
 25  32  512039 ROULIN Gilles 1994 SUI  1:37.30  +2.02  22.90  6.00
 27  16  194364 PINTURAULT Alexis 1991 FRA  1:37.39  +2.11  23.92  4.00
 28  24  530939 WEIBRECHT Andrew 1986 USA  1:37.41  +2.13  24.14  3.00
 29  38  422073 NETELAND Bjoernar 1991 NOR  1:37.53  +2.25  25.50  2.00
 30  23  561255 CATER Martin 1992 SLO  1:37.54  +2.26  25.62  1.00
 31  33  990081 CASSE Mattia 1990 ITA  1:37.55  +2.27  25.73
 32  27  511981 WEBER Ralph 1993 SUI  1:37.57  +2.29  25.96
 33  28  511638 TUMLER Thomas 1989 SUI  1:37.88  +2.60  29.47
 34  35  54209 KRENN Christoph 1994 AUT  1:38.11  +2.83  32.08
 35  15  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil 1985 NOR  1:38.39  +3.11  35.25
 36  34  561217 KOSI Klemen 1991 SLO  1:38.53  +3.25  36.84
Did not finish 1st run
 29  422310 SEJERSTED Adrian Smiseth 1994 NOR
 6  102899 OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel 1984 CAN
Did not start 1st run
 80  54117 HOERL Christopher 1989 MDA
 79  370031 ALESSANDRIA Arnaud 1993 MON
 78  400237 MEINERS Maarten 1992 NED
 77  192932 FAYED Guillermo 1985 FRA
 76  502207 PLATTER Filip 1997 SWE
 75  930024 MAPLE Wiley 1990 USA
 74  102271 HUDEC Jan 1981 CZE
 73  20324 OLIVERAS Marc 1991 AND
 72  700878 BENDIK Martin 1993 SVK
 71  430472 KLUSAK Michal 1990 POL
 70  422278 WINDINGSTAD Rasmus 1993 NOR
 69  6530104 BENNETT Bryce 1992 USA
 68  191740 CLAREY Johan 1981 FRA
 67  533866 NYMAN Steven 1982 USA
 66  481730 KUZNETSOV Ivan 1996 RUS
 65  180570 ROMAR Andreas 1989 FIN
 64  202345 SCHWAIGER Dominik 1991 GER
 63  303758 SUGAI Ryo 1991 JPN
 62  170131 FAARUP Christoffer 1992 DEN
 61  310426 VUKICEVIC Marko 1992 SRB
 60  511847 MANI Nils 1992 SUI
 59  194190 ROGER Brice 1990 FRA
 58  511139 KUENG Patrick 1984 SUI
 57  110324 VON APPEN Henrik 1994 CHI
 56  194167 MUZATON Maxence 1990 FRA
 55  561214 DEBELAK Tilen 1991 SLO
 54  501987 MONSEN Felix 1994 SWE
 53  6190176 BAILET Matthieu 1996 FRA
 52  380292 ZRNCIC DIM Natko 1986 CRO
 51  6290985 BUZZI Emanuele 1994 ITA
 50  512042 KRYENBUEHL Urs 1994 SUI
 49  104096 THOMPSON Broderick 1994 CAN
 48  6290845 BOSCA Guglielmo 1993 ITA
 47  511529 GISIN Marc 1988 SUI
 46  6530319 COCHRAN-SIEGLE Ryan 1992 USA
 45  293550 MARSAGLIA Matteo 1985 ITA
 44  422120 SAUGESTAD Stian 1992 NOR
 43  54005 STRIEDINGER Otmar 1991 AUT
 42  512031 BARANDUN Gian Luca 1994 SUI
 41  934643 GOLDBERG Jared 1991 USA
 40  53933 SCHWEIGER Patrick 1990 AUT
 39  511852 CAVIEZEL Gino 1992 SUI
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Sean Higgins
Senior Editor
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A Lake Tahoe native and University of Vermont graduate, Higgins was a member of the Catamounts' 2012 NCAA title winning squad and earned first team All-American status in 2013. Prior to coming to Ski Racing Media, he coached U14s for the Squaw Valley Ski Team.
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