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Beaver Creek preview: Kroell takes first trainer


Although the Lake Louise race track opens the speed season for the World Cup, the Birds of Prey races at Beaver Creek are where the adrenalin really starts flowing. Designed ahead of the 1989 World Championships, the race track is a gem kicking out of the start at 11,427 feet above sea level, the highest of any course on the World Cup circuit. The work crew is also among the best anywhere and track preparation is annually praised by FIS men’s director Gunther Hujara. This season appears to be no exception.

The opening training run went to Austrian Klaus Kroell, the defending World Cup downhill champion. Asked what that meant, he clarified in no uncertain terms: “It’s good for confidence, but it says nothing. … It is the first training, so most of the guys are going easier. I think you can hold something back, maybe the others more than me, but I had fun.   It was so great.”

Second was Max Franz, Austria’s newest rising star and third was Christof Innerhofer of Italy. Travis Ganong and Marco Sullivan had the top places for the US in 15 and 16 (after 60) and the Canadians had Erik Guay in eighth and Ben Thomsen tied for tenth.

The Birds of Prey downhill tests the entire scope of a racer’s skill set. It has a little gliding, some big time steeps, off-camber fall away turns, compressions and plenty of air. It is not a course for the faint of heart. From the start through the Flyway the ski technicians get tested, too, with waxing and ski prep as important as the racers ability to ride a flat ski. At the Brink, the bottom drops away and speeds climb quickly. The Screech Owl needs to be carried with speed because of a flat which follows and then the Golden Eagle jump, among the biggest found anywhere on tour leads into a dark normally tricky section known as The Abyss. Come out with speed for the Harrier Jump to handle a long cranking couple of turns and down the final Red Tail jump above the finish. The race cannot be won at any one section, but it can be lost at any of them.

The biggest change this season was a bit of course widening at below Screech Owl, designed, apparently, to temper the speed into the big Golden Eagle jump.

Although Colorado had early snow, it has not snowed in this region in more than a week. The snow cover near the village, at 7,400 feet or so is scratchy where it exists at all. The work crew at Beaver Creek is legendary, however, and the race track has received most of the attention leading up to these races. The course it is in its usual spectacular condition. Getting around on skis otherwise can be a challenge, but the snow guns are cranking full bore and area officials expect trails to start opening throughout this week.

This week it is all about the racing.

The USA record in the 16 World Cup downhills held here since the pre-World Championship test events in 1988 has been among the best of any site on the White Circus. Five of 16, including the downhill track record from Daron Rahlves in 2005, have come from the home team. Mind you Austria has six, though they have not recorded a downhill win on the Birds of Prey track since Michael Walchhofer in 2007.

Last season the race went to Bode Miller, who will not race this season as he nurses a knee he had micro-fractured after he pulled the plug on last season at the end of February. At this point there is no specific plan for his return to the tour.

No American male has ever won the Beaver Creek super G, set for Saturday, though Lindsey Vonn claimed the first women’s SG on the course last season.  Miller claimed the GS once back in 2005 and Ted Ligety, Mr. GS, recorded GS wins here in 2010 and 2011. Austria’s Marcel Hirscher got his spectacular 2012 title winning season underway with the GS win here last season.
Gepa image

Beaver Creek (USA)
Training
Men’s Downhill
Nov. 27, 2012

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Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time FIS Points
 1  10  50753 KROELL Klaus  1980  "print0" style="font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 9px; line-height: normal; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Geneva, Swiss, SunSans-Regular; background-color: #ffffff; vertical-align: top;" align="center">AUT   1:41.52  
 2  23  53817 FRANZ Max  1989  AUT   1:41.97  
 3  19  293006 INNERHOFER Christof  1984  ITA   1:42.13  
 4  27  50858 STREITBERGER Georg  1981  AUT   1:42.31  
 5  9  421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund  1982  NOR   1:42.40  
 6  1  560447 SPORN Andrej  1981  SLO   1:42.48  
 7  11  192746 THEAUX Adrien  1984  FRA   1:42.68  
 8  16  102263 GUAY Erik  1981  CAN   1:42.71  
 9  17  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil  1985  NOR   1:42.75  
 10  8  191740 CLAREY Johan  1981  FRA   1:42.91  
 10  7  103271 THOMSEN Benjamin  1987  CAN   1:42.91  
 12  12  50742 REICHELT Hannes  1980  AUT   1:43.08  
 13  2  191964 POISSON David  1982  FRA   1:43.22  
 14  5  511139 KUENG Patrick  1984  SUI   1:43.23  
 15  31  530874 GANONG Travis  1988  USA   1:43.26  
 16  25  533131 SULLIVAN Marco  1980  USA   1:43.29  
 17  4  294277 KLOTZ Siegmar  1987  ITA   1:43.41  
 18  43  51332 SCHEIBER Florian  1987  AUT   1:43.69  
 18  40  53902 MAYER Matthias  1990  AUT   1:43.69  
 20  15  510727 DEFAGO Didier  1977  SUI   1:43.70  
 21  32  192932 FAYED Guillermo  1985  FRA   1:43.71  
 22  24  201811 STECHERT Tobias  1985  GER   1:43.73  
 23  6  511313 JANKA Carlo  1986  SUI   1:43.93  
 24  18  51327 PUCHNER Joachim  1987  AUT   1:43.94  
 25  58  292514 HEEL Werner  1982  ITA   1:44.11  
 26  68  530939 WEIBRECHT Andrew  1986  USA   1:44.15  
 27  501439 HEDIN Douglas  1990  SWE   1:44.18  
 28  67  380292 ZRNCIC-DIM Natko  1986  CRO   1:44.21  
 28  13  291459 PARIS Dominik  1989  ITA   1:44.21  
 30  22  292455 FILL Peter  1982  ITA  yle="font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 9px; line-height: normal; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Geneva, Swiss, SunSans-Regular; background-color: #f0f0f0; vertical-align: top;" align="right"> 1:44.25  
 30  20  50625 RAICH Benjamin  1978  AUT   1:44.25  
 32  29  510890 ZURBRIGGEN Silvan  1981  SUI   1:44.27  
 33  51  150398 BANK Ondrej  1980  CZE   1:44.28  
 34  26  511529 ss="print1" style="font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 9px; line-height: normal; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Geneva, Swiss, SunSans-Regular; background-color: #f0f0f0; vertical-align: top;">GISIN Marc  1988  SUI   1:44.33  
 35  64  531452 BIESEMEYER Thomas  1989  USA   1:44.34  
 36  33  380260 KOSTELIC Ivica  1979  CRO   1:44.43  
 37  45  6530319 COCHRAN-SIEGLE Ryan  1992  USA   1:44.45  
 38  28  201606 KEPPLER Stephan  1983  GER   1:44.47  
 39  49  293550 MARSAGLIA Matteo  1985  ITA   1:44.49  
 40  21  191591 BERTRAND Yannick  1980  FRA   1:44.51  
 41  34  534562 LIGETY Ted  1984  USA   1:44.52  
 42  46  533866 NYMAN Steven  1982  USA   1:44.55  
 43  56  561216 KLINE Bostjan  1991  SLO   1:44.57  
 44  42  200379 SANDER Andreas  1989  GER   1:44.62  
 45  39  561067 PERKO Rok  1985  SLO   1:44.64  
 46  41  202059 FERSTL Josef  1988  GER   1:44.69  
 47  52  194190 ROGER Brice  1990  FRA   1:44.71  
 48  38  511142 LUEOEND Vitus  1984  SUI   1:44.73  
 49  77  934643 GOLDBERG Jared  1991  USA   1:44.82  
 50  54  930024 MAPLE Wiley  1990  USA   1:44.88  
 51  81  103512 FRISCH Jeffrey  1984  CAN   1:44.89  
 52  76  511352 VILETTA Sandro  1986  SUI   1:44.93  
 53  55  54005 STRIEDINGER Otmar  1991  AUT   1:45.01  
 54  48  103385 PRIDY Conrad  1988  CAN   1:45.03  
 54  3  180570 ROMAR Andreas  1989  FIN   1:45.03  
 56  47  53968 BERTHOLD Frederic  1991  AUT   1:45.04  
 57  35  560332 JERMAN Andrej  1978  SLO   1:45.09  
 58  14  51215 BAUMANN Romed  1986  AUT   1:45.12  
 59  44  102899 OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel  1984  CAN   1:45.18 ss="print0" style="font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 9px; line-height: normal; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Geneva, Swiss, SunSans-Regular; background-color: #ffffff; vertical-align: top;" align="right"> 
 60  53  193034 BOUILLOT Alexandre  1985  FRA   1:45.25  
 61  62  491129 TERRA Ferran  1987  SPA   1:45.58  
 62  60  510747 GRUENENFELDER Tobias  1977  SUI   1:45.65  
 63  71  421650 BJERKESTRAND Ive
1987  NOR   1:45.72  
 64  70  220874 BALDWIN TJ  1990  GBR   1:45.73  
 65  74  510997 BERTHOD Marc  1983  SUI   1:45.96  
 66  72  191746 DE TESSIERES Gauthier  1981  FRA   1:46.00  
 66  37  53981 KROELL Johannes  1991  AUT   1:46.00  
 68  65  103612 PRIDY Morgan  1990  CAN   1:46.18  
 69  66  481705 GLEBOV Alexander  1983  RUS   1:46.40  
 70  63  561217 KOSI Klemen  1991  SLO   1:46.48  
 71  69  491151 DE LA CUESTA Paul  1988  SPA   1:46.67  
 72  75  220695 CRAWFORD Douglas  1987  GBR   1:47.77  
 73  61  400281 VAN HEEK Marvin  1991  NED   1:48.47  
 74  82  481054 MURAVYEV Ivan  1989  RUS   1:48.85  
 75  50  511634 SPESCHA Christian  1989  SUI   1:51.36  
 76  85  561214 DEBELAK Tilen  1991  SLO   1:51.39  
Did not start 1st run
   84  990116 DE ALIPRANDINI Luca  1990  ITA     
   83  511638 TUMLER Thomas  1989  SUI     
   80  990048 BORSOTTI Giovanni  1990  ITA     
   79  511852 CAVIEZEL Gino  1992  SUI     
   78  292967 EISATH Florian  1984  ITA     
   73  934568 RUBIE Brennan  1991  USA     
   57  100558 COOK Dustin  1989  CAN     
   36  102873 KUCERA John  1984  CAN     
   30 yle="font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 9px; line-height: normal; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Geneva, Swiss, SunSans-Regular; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: right; vertical-align: bottom; padding-right: 7px;" align="right"> 102271 HUDEC Jan  1981  CAN   
Phelan tops podium in Loveland NorAmMielzynski gets the win at NorAm slalom in Loveland

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