Ski Racing » Stories Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:08:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 VIDEO: US Ski Team summer workouts Wed, 22 Oct 2014 09:45:20 +0000 SR Staff The women of the U.S. Ski Team trained hard all summer in and out of the gym in preparation for the 2014-15 season. Check out a day at the Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah, with Mikaela Shiffrin, Laurenne Ross, Paula Moltzan, Leanne Smith, Jackie Wiles, and Lila Lapanja.

Video courtesy of USSA

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Norway names 7 skiers to Soelden roster Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:51:49 +0000 SR Staff Kjetil Jansrud training on the Pitztaler Glacier in preparation for the season opener. GEPA

Kjetil Jansrud training on the Pitztaler Glacier in preparation for the season opener. GEPA

The Norwegian Ski Federation named seven athletes to race at the World Cup opener in Soelden, Austria, including veterans and newcomers alike. Aksel Lund Svindal was expected to start prior to his serious injury sustained in the week before the race, but his absence will not change the starting list for the Norwegian team.

Marcus Monsen looks to add to his two World Cup starts from last season. He made his debut in St. Moritz where he finished in the points in 26th. Rasmus Windingstad will also start in his career third World Cup race, through he has yet to score on the grand stage.

Veteran Kjetil Jansrud has twice cracked the top 10 in Soelden, both in 2009 and 2011. On the women’s side, Nina Loeseth finished inside the top 30 last year with a 26th-place result at the season opener.

Soelden starters for Norway:

  • Marcus Monsen
  • Rasmus Windingstad
  • Kjetil Jansrud
  • Leif Kristian Haugen
  • Henrik Kristoffersen
  • Ragnhild Mowinckel
  • Nina Loeseth

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Neureuther to skip Soelden and focus on Levi Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:22:31 +0000 SR Staff Felix Neureuther plans to return to competition in Levi. GEPA

Felix Neureuther plans to return to competition in Levi. GEPA

Germany’s best technical racer, Felix Neureuther, will skip the World Cup season opener in Soelden, Austria, in order to focus on the first slalom of the season in Levi, Finland.

Neureuther has suffered back pain for several months, and his start in Soelden was already questionable after he had to take time off from training just weeks before the race. Although the 30-year-old technical specialist started training again roughly a week ago, he has come to the conclusion that preparing in time for the opener is not possible.

“There is a good and bad news,” said Neureuther. “The bad news is I must unfortunately skip the giant slalom in Soelden. The good news is that my back is doing better. In slalom, it works quite well.”

Head coach Mathias Berthold echoed Neureuther’s sentiments and is positive for the future.

“Felix returned to on-snow training a week ago and has made ​​good progress, but a start in Soelden for him but at this stage is too early,” remarked Berthold. “We have therefore jointly decided to skip this race and instead intensify training.”

Release courtesy of DSV

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How to watch this weekend’s action from Soelden Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:11:28 +0000 Geoff Mintz Soelden is prepared for this weekend's opening World Cup. C.J. Feehan

Soelden is prepared for this weekend’s opening World Cup. CJ Feehan

Universal Sports Network is officially available to everyone (not living in a cave).

The network will present extensive multi-platform coverage of the 2014-15 FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, both on air and at starting with the season’s opener in Soelden, Austria this Saturday and Sunday.

The network is available on Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Cox Communications, Verizon FiOS, CenturyLink Prism, Google Fiber, satellite providers DIRECTV and DISH and several regional cable and IPTV operators in markets across the country.

Comcast remains the major holdout and is not expected to offer Universal to its customers this season. This relationship has at times been confusing and frustrating for consumers who are under the impression that Comcast (via NBC) is the parent company of Universal Sports. Despite the peacock in its logo, this is not actually the case.

“NBC Sports is a minority owner in Universal, so we have to negotiate just as any other networks. We operate as an independent network,” said Universal spokeswoman Catherine Philbin. “That said, we have a great relationship with NBC Sports — we work with them on a daily basis. You’re going to see more of that this year during ski season.” is scheduled to live stream more than 250 hours of full event competition for authenticated users who subscribe to cable or satellite providers that carry Universal Sports.

“That is unchanged, and that’s a simple TV and Cable industry standard,” said Philbin. “Yes, you do have to have Universal Sports as part of your subscription package in order to be able to watch (on Universal’s site).”

Stuck with Comcast? Not a cable or satellite subscriber? There’s still hope.

For race fans who are without access to Universal Sports on their TV, there is an affordable online option: For $10 per month, DishWorld’s “Just Sports TV” package provides access to computers, as well as select tablets and mobile devices. Tech savvy users can even stream Universal’s programming to their televisions through an HDMI cable or an air-streaming device for near-seamless viewing. Furthermore, races can be watched anytime up to eight days following the event. The “Just Sports TV” package does not require a contract and subscriptions can be terminated at anytime.

DishWorld is a good solution for viewers who previously utilized Universal’s popular paid online alpine package, which was discontinued two years ago.

With the World Championships set to take place on home snow this season, Universal has put further emphasis on live alpine coverage with many of the broadcasts happening in real time, depending on time zone, says Philbin.

Presented by Longines, Universal’s broadcast coverage will feature the veteran play-by-play announcer Steve Porino and analyst Doug Lewis. This year’s broadcasts will also include the newly-designed Audi Race Room, where the network’s analysts give viewers an insider’s look at the elite competition by breaking down the techniques and technologies behind individual performances.

“2015 was supposed to be a curtain call for two of the sport’s biggest stars, Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn, but Miller, Vonn and Julia Mancuso have more in them and are all back,” Porino commented about Team USA. “I predict that we’re also going to watch Mikaela Shiffrin bud from best slalom skier in the world to one of the best skiers, period. And Ted Ligety will continue to cement his legend as one of the greatest giant slalom skiers to have ever lived by adding another World Championship title.”

Live television coverage of the 2014-15 FIS Alpine Ski World Cup begins Saturday at 6:30 a.m. ET with the women’s giant slalom from Soelden, Austria, and continues with the men’s giant slalom on Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET. LIVE streaming begins at 3:30 a.m. ET on both days.

Check out Universal’s complete Alpine World Cup schedule here.

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France names 15 Soelden starters Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:26:38 +0000 SR Staff Alexis Pinturault at the 2013 Soelden World Cup.

Alexis Pinturault at the 2013 Soelden World Cup. GEPA

The French Ski Federation has announced its 15 starters for the opening World Cup race in Soelden this coming weekend, and to no surprise the list includes 2013 runner-up Alexis Pinturault.


Anne-Sophie Barthet
Adeline Baud
Marion Bertrand
Coralie Frasse-Sombet
Anémone Marmottan
Marie Massios
Tessa Worley


Mathieu Faivre
Thomas Fanara
Nicolas Lambert
Thomas Mermillod-Blondin
Steve Missilier
Victor Muffat-Jeandet
Alexis Pinturault
Cyprien Richard

Release courtesy of FFS

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Svindal out indefinitely with torn Achilles Sun, 19 Oct 2014 13:54:50 +0000 SR Staff Aksel Lund Svindal ready for the Soelden opener back in 2013. GEPA

Aksel Lund Svindal ready for the Soelden opener back in 2013. GEPA

Aksel Lund Svindal tore the Achilles tendon in his left leg during dryland training in Soelden, Austria, on Saturday afternoon. He was immediately rushed to a hospital in Innsbruck for further investigation where the extent of the injury was determined and he underwent surgery shortly after. It is uncertain how long Svindal will take to recover, but he will likely miss most of the 2014-15 season.

“I was out for a little run with the rest of the team in Sölden Austria. We ended the session playing around with a ball. Just holding it up in the air between us,” wrote Svindal.  “Suddenly I felt something snap in my leg and I knew right away that something was wrong. Achilles.”

The 2014 World Cup downhill and super G title winner and runner-up in the overall will recover in Austria before returning to the Olympic Center Oslo to continue his rehabilitation.

“A real injury and extremely bad timing just as the season is about to start,” he continued. “But now that it’s happened there’s not much I can do. Now it’s all about looking ahead. Nobody can say 100 percent sure how long the recovery will take, but I’m ready for the weeks that are coming.”

Norwegian team doctor Marc Jacob Strauss indicated that the star’s season is most likely over before it even officially started.

“Svindal must now work out cautiously and he will probably not ski again for about three to four months,” said Strauss.

Release courtesy of NSF   

]]> 0 VIDEO: USA Aerials On the Rise Sun, 19 Oct 2014 09:29:09 +0000 SR Staff Over the summer, U.S. Freestyle athletes Mac Bohonnon, Troy Tully and Mike Rossi produced USA Aerials | On The Rise to celebrate their sport and support the continued development and innovation of freestyle skiing.

“This video is a depiction of our love and dedication to the sport of Aerial Skiing. It encompasses everything the sport represents. Each and every single person pictured and involved in the making of this project shares a lasting love for the sport and the community that comes with it,” said Bohonnon. “Since the beginning, freestyle skiing has consisted of a group that wanted to do things just a little differently. They were the ones doing flips on their skis because they were told they couldn’t or because it was considered too dangerous.”

He continued, “Today it consists of a group doing over twenty flips in a mere five seconds and setting world records at 6:45 a.m. on a typical Thursday morning, representing an overlooked and under appreciated sport and throwing up from the uncertainty that we’ll make it to our feet safely.”

Release and video courtesy of USSA

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Swiss announce Soelden starters for World Cup opener Sat, 18 Oct 2014 15:37:39 +0000 SR Staff Lara Gut at last season's Soelden opener. GEPA

Lara Gut at last season’s Soelden opener. GEPA

Swiss women’s head coach Hans Flatscher and men’s head coach Thomas Stauffer, in consultation with discipline coaches, have announced the selection of their starting athletes in the first World Cup race of the season set in Soelden, Austria, on Oct. 25 and 26. The Swiss team starting in the Soelden giant slalom includes:


Lara Gut
Dominique Gisin
Fabienne Suter
Wendy Holdener
Michelle Gisin
Andrea Ellenberger


Sandro Jenal
Gino Caviezel
Manuel Pleisch
Carlo Janka
Elia Zurbriggen
Justin Murisier
Ramon Zenhaeusern

Release courtesy of Swiss Ski

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Cracking into Corralco Fri, 17 Oct 2014 14:26:09 +0000 Geoff Mintz Corralco

One of the double chairlifts at Corralco and the endless possibilities above. Corralco Ski Area

With reports of thinning snow conditions in Portillo, the U.S. men’s speed team called an audible in September and moved its early fall camp to Corralco Ski Area in the southern part of Chile.

The training block, which concluded on Sept. 27, was attended by the men’s World Cup speed team, the men’s multi-team, as well as the men’s Europa Cup speed team.

“It was pretty dry up in northern Chile this winter (in the Southern Hemisphere),” said Sasha Rearick, the men’s head alpine coach. “We were getting reports that it was going to be thin, so we hopped on a plane, flew down there and checked it out.”

mapCorralco Ski Area is located on the Lonquimay Volcano, near the town of Malalcahuello, Chile. The resort is comprised of two double chairlifts and several surface lifts.  All of the terrain is above tree line, which provides near-endless possibilities for training. The trails are only limited by imagination of the groomer, according to men’s assistant speed coach Pete Anderson.

Earlier in the summer, head coach Rearick scouted the venue while the French were training. On that visit, longtime “friend of the team” Jimmy Ackerson, now the general manager for Corralco, told Rearick anything and everything is possible.

“It’s a big mountain where you can basically make your own downhill wherever you want,” said Rearick. “The French team had a tough camp because of weather. The Swiss team got snowed out, too. And fortunately, we got lucky. So it is risky down there with weather.”

The Americans were coming off a successful camp in New Zealand a few weeks earlier, which was mostly tech-based. In Chile, they were able to run a slightly more aggressive block.

“When you get down to Chile and you’ve got good weather, you’ve got to be ready to go,” said Rearick. “Fortunately, the guys were ready to go. The first day we did some easy super G and progressed pretty quickly into difficult super G the following day.”

He described the 2,200-foot race trail as a “long, glidy downhill,” roughly 1 minute, 30 seconds in length, with a top section featuring eight challenging downhill turns, followed by a nice, moderate cruise to the bottom.

“It’s pretty easy, but long,” Rearick said. “What made it challenging was it was bumpy. It would get really hard and freeze up at night. The mornings were really, really bumpy. You didn’t need to add any more challenge than that.”

The public was allowed onto the trail after the team was through with it each day, which partly contributed to the bumpiness, unlike Portillo where the public largely stays off the course.

Like the women’s team, which shook things up this fall by training in Zermatt, Rearick said there is a huge advantage to getting the guys out of their normal routines and training on a new and different hill, which was also the premise of the group’s earlier camp in New Zealand.

“This year, especially with the speed boys, we’ve really changed things up with what they’ve been doing the past few years,” he said.

Overall, Rearick said it was a fantastic trip, but he doesn’t necessarily foresee the World Cup team opting for Corralco over Portillo in the future, unless the weather dictates a switch.

“We have a great relationship with Portillo. It’s been a fantastic training site for us. We will continue to go to Portillo,” said Rearick. “I would also love to go back to Corralco, without a doubt. We will go back — which groups will go is what we’re trying to figure out.”

While it may not serve as the long-term destination for elite-level speed, it was universally agreed upon that the U.S. Ski Team should and likely will return to Corralco in one form or another in the future.

“The ski area has the potential to support a number of teams and training groups at the same time by utilizing different parts of the mountain to train different events,” said Anderson, reporting back to USSA. “This could really be beneficial as it would allow a lot of crossover and exposure between different teams and different levels of athletes while still having enough space to have quality training sessions.”

Anderson said the primary concern at Corralco is the weather, which needs to be explored a bit more — pushing the dates back may provide more stable conditions.

“I think once the mountain gets more established as a premier race training venue and acquires a more complete understanding of what is required of teams,” added Anderson, “Corralco could be a great options for summer training, not just for national teams, but also for regional and club teams, as well.”

Coach’s report

Steve Nyman, Marco Sullivan and Travis Ganong get rowdy. Corralco Ski Area

Travis Ganong, Steven Nyman and Marco Sullivan get rowdy. Corralco Ski Area

Steven Nyman has had a really good prep period, both from a physical and skiing standpoint. Nyman began his summer with a PSIA camp, where he received his full certification (Level 3), which was helpful in bringing the focus back to fundamentals. In New Zealand, Nyman also had a good camp, bringing his fundamental base into a GS training situation, as well as slalom. It’s carried over well into speed with better separation and upper body discipline than he has had during his career, says Rearick.

Travis Ganong traveled to both New Zealand and Chile. Specifically, he’s been focused on taking a line where he can carve a clean turn. He’s doing that well off the pitch, being very clean and well balanced on his skis.

Jared Goldberg also participated in the PSIA camp, as well as the GS camp in New Zealand. He’s skiing giant slalom quite well, says the coach, very physically, but needs to quiet down his upper body and smooth out his transition.

After a crash in Lake Louise last season left him with a torn ACL and sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, Tommy Biesemeyer was on a return-to-ski program in New Zealand and return-to-training in Chile. He was able to progress to running a full-length course and is standing on his boards very nicely, says the coach. Now, it’s just about ramping up the intensity as the team prepares for Copper.

Marco Sullivan, after completing the PSIA camp in the spring, took the summer off from skiing and did not attend New Zealand. In Chile, he freeskied a few days and then jumped back into training, skiing with more spark and fire, says Rearick.

Ted Ligety mainly focused on speed the entire camp. He did partake in some GS sessions to stay on point, but prioritized aerodynamics and staying smooth and balanced in his tuck. Rearick said, with Ligety, a lot of effort is being put on the speed side of things this season.

Tim Jitloff spent a good deal of time working on glide turns to help improve his super G and to clean up his transition. He ran some downhill, taking advantage of the speed camp.

Brennan Rubie ran some speed but focused more on GS while in Chile. He’s skiing technically well, says Rearick, but needs to bring the intensity up.

Also on hand was the Europa Cup team, Bryce Bennett, as well as three invitees, Wiley Maple, Tanner Farrow and Sam DuPratt, who were working closely with their coach, TJ Lanning.

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Soelden passes snow control, opening World Cup races confirmed Fri, 17 Oct 2014 13:33:10 +0000 CJ Feehan A more promising Rettenbach Glacier back on Oct. 4. GEPA

A more promising look at Soelden back on Oct. 4. GEPA

The opening World Cup races of the season on the Rettenbach Glacier in Soelden, Austria were confirmed today despite warm temperatures and rain during the official inspection by FIS Race Directors Markus Waldner and Markus Mayr.

Thanks to the hard work of the organizing committee to preserve the course, which has been closed to training over the past week, the 2014 women’s giant slalom on Oct. 25 and men’s giant slalom on Oct. 26 are confirmed to go off as scheduled.

The glacier race in Soelden is rarely threatened by nature because of a top elevation over 10,000 feet, but the 2006 event had to be canceled even after passing snow control due to unseasonably warm weather and heavy rains in the days immediately preceding the races. This year, warm temperatures have once again made the October race a challenge for the course crew, but snow levels have been deemed sufficient at this time by FIS officials.

Waldner and Mayr had generally positive impressions of the Rettenbach Glacier today, and they gave the green light to organizers to continue preparing for the first giant slalom contests of the season.

The freeze level in Soelden over the next three days is forecast to be well above the top of the Rettenbach, so workers will try to preserve the hill this week, but it doesn’t appear that they will face the same heavy rains as in 2006.

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