BEAVER CREEK, Colo. – The biggest story coming out of the Beaver Creek Birds of Prey super G was the course. Mistakes were a given and the athletes who attacked with limited mistakes were, for the most part, rewarded. Hannes Reichelt added to his impressive Beaver Creek resume with his third super G win on the course — but his first since 2007 — finally topping Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud, who was undefeated in this season’s speed races coming into today. Frenchman Alexis Pinturault rounded out the podium finishing third.
“Sometimes you have love with some slopes, and that one I love,” said Reichelt of the track. “At the moment, only with the super G, downhill I have to work a little bit to get also fast on this slope.”
It was a day filled with incredible recoveries and a number of DNF’s — 19 total — but it was Reichelt who took advantage of a good start number, 14, to get helpful course reports and the visual of a successful line provided by Dominik Paris, to ski an aggressive, attacking run.
“We saw something on the television and just a report after the compression that so many guys had mistakes. But I saw Paris Dominik and he did it really well, so I said, ‘OK, that line should be the nicest line and the best line,’ and I was trying it. That was really one step to my victory,” said Reichelt of his line. “Normally the super G here in Beaver Creek is all the time really tough to ski because there are so many bumps … you don’t see the next gate, so … I think that makes that course really special.”
Reichelt skied on the edge, never holding back, from start to finish to take the lead away from then-leader Paris. His lead looked to be in question when Jansrud took to the course. The winner of the first three speed races of the season held the lead at the last interval, but a huge mistake coming over the Abyss blew his chances for a fourth straight win.
“It felt like a decent run. I could have probably been a little faster up top but I wasn’t sure how fast it was going to be. I tried attacking. From the midsection away, I felt very good. After Golden Eagle coming in the Abyss, I knew going out of that was going to be tricky. I also got the message on the course that people are getting pushed, but I tried to be early and somehow it kicked me anyway,” acknowledged Jansrud. “It was a huge bummer but … thankfully I made it. I was disappointed coming into the finish knowing that I had that mistake, but I’m not disappointed with the rest of it at all. … The day you are disappointed with a second place is the day you become arrogant.”
Alexis Pinturault, who won the final super G last season at World Cup finals, skied the fastest top split through the the technical turns, but slowly lost some time across the flat, before catching his arm on the gate after the Abyss. He ultimately dropped back to finish third, for the third super G podium of his career.
“I think this slope could be real interesting for the technical guys, but you really have to take many, many risks because it’s very difficult and it’s quite fast,” said Pinturault of the course. “So for me, I was not expected to be on the podium, but I really tried to stay focused on my skiing, try to push really hard and finally I am on this podium. It was a big mistake, but I’m really proud and really happy today.”
The Americans had a strong day as a team led by Andrew Weibrecht in 10th and Ted Ligety in 11th. For Weibrecht, the result matches his best finish here in Beaver Creek, and ties the for the second-best World Cup result of his career. He skied a strong top half of the course and limited his mistakes until the Abyss where he caught maybe too much air, causing him to lose his line in the turns before the finish. He finished 1.07 seconds off the pace.
“The top was really good, it was solid skiing. By the Pump House, by the GS start, I just got a little squashed in there and had a mistake. I knew I was maybe losing a little time so I started pushing it a little bit harder,” said Weibrecht. “I had a couple little, ragged mistakes and then down bottom coming out of the Abyss it’s a tough switch. It comes at you really quick. You have to be in the right place, and you have to commit before you can see the gate, so it’s really, really tough couple of gates. Obviously, I lost some time there, but that’s the way it goes.”
Ligety was surprisingly slow out of the start on the steep technical turns that would normally suit the GS skier. He found himself already 0.70 out at split one, but was able to pick up the pace after Pump House and ultimately finished 1.11 seconds out in 11th.
“That course set was really fast. As you know, that hill is really daunting-looking out of the start gate, for sure. When you have my skill set in turning, there’s no excuse for losing time to downhill skiers on that top pitch, so that’s pretty disappointing. I definitely feel like I skied way too conservatively up there. It was fast in your face but it would have been so easy to be way, way faster. You saw Pinturault was significantly faster than everybody else up there. I don’t know; I think maybe I was almost a second off him up there, which is inexcusable,” reflected Ligety. “Being 11th place and only four-tenths or something off the podium is not horrible. But it’s definitely not what I expect out super G on this hill.”
Three more Americans found themselves in the points with Tim Jitloff scoring in super G for the first time, in 24th. Tommy Biesemeyer, who is coming back from a knee injury, finished a confidence-boosting 25th, and Travis Ganong finished 28th. Jared Goldberg was 32nd, Bryce Bennett 42nd and yesterday’s third-place finisher, Steven Nyman, failed to find the finish line.
The Canadians had another strong day with three in the top 20. Dustin Cook bested his career-best 13th-place result from last weekend with a 12th, Jan Hudec was 14th and Morgan Pridy finished 16th for his career-best World Cup result.
The men finish up their week of racing at Beaver Creek with the giant slalom tomorrow, where Ted Ligety will look to win his fourth straight GS race and fifth overall at the site.
See more photos from today’s race in our gallery HERE.
by Hank McKee
- Reichelt, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
- Jansrud, Head/Head/Head
- Pinturault, Head/Head/Head
- Fill, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Paris, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
- Streitberger, Head/Head/Head
- Defago, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
- Marsaglia, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
- Janka, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
- Weibrecht, Head/Head/Head
Men’s World Cup super G, Beaver Creek, USA Dec. 6, 2014:
- It is the sixth of 36 races on the men’s 2014-15 World Cup calendar … The second of six scheduled super G’s. … It is the second of three World Cup races set for Beaver Creek this season. … It is the 59th World Cup race hosted by Beaver Creek. … the 17th super G. … Patrick Kueng is the defending champion.
- It is the eighth career World cup win for Hannes Reichelt … his fifth in super G. … It is the third time he has won a Beaver Creek super G, but the first time since 2007. … Winning margin is .52. … Top seven skiers are within the same second. … Top 26 within two seconds.
- It is the 20th career World Cup podium result for Kjetil Jansrud. … He had won three straight races prior to this one. … It is his fifth Beaver Creek podium.
- It is the 25th career World Cup podium for Alexis Pinturault … his third in super G. … It is his first Beaver Creek podium.
- It is the fifth career World Cup top 10 for Andrew Weibrecht and the third time he has placed tenth at Beaver Creek.
- It is the fourth-best super G result at Beaver Creek for Ted Ligety. … It is a career-best World Cup result for Dustin Cook. … Cook was also 13th is SG at Lake Louise last weekend. … It is the fifth-best Beaver Creek result of Jan Hudec’s career, fourth best in super G. … It is a career-best World Cup result for Morgan Pridy, despite his 10th-place Olympic result in Sochi. … It is the first-career super G scoring result for Tim Jitloff. … It is the fifth-career score for Tommy Biesemeyer and second at Beaver Creek. … It is the 11th super G scoring finish for Travis Ganong.
- Kjetil Jansrud maintains the World Cup overall standings lead 396-205 over Dominik Paris (fifth in race). … Reichelt moves into third place with 201pts. … Manuel Osborne-Paradis (DNF in race) is the top Canadian overall in seventh with 127pts. … Travis Ganong leads U.S. men in 14th with 84pts.
- Jansrud leads the super G standings 180-140 over Reichelt with Paris in third at 105pts. … Jan Hudec is the top Canadian in the super G standings in ninth place with 47pts. … Andrew Weibrecht leads the U.S. in 13th with 37pts.
- Austria leads the mens Nations Cup 934-652 over Italy. … Norway is third with 582pts. … The U.S. is sixth at 348 and Canada Seventh at 298pts.
|18||8||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA||1:14.15||+1.37||20.33|
|41||59||491151||DE LA CUESTA Paul||1988||SPA||1:16.05||+3.27||48.52|
|47||68||110324||VON APPEN Henrik||1994||CHI||1:17.68||+4.90||72.71|
|48||65||30149||SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier||1980||ARG||1:18.38||+5.60||83.10|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|6||422139||KILDE Aleksander Aamodt||1992||NOR|