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Gobble Gobble Gut

SKI ALPIN - FIS WC Beaver Creek, Abfahrtstraining

Lara Gut in the second training run down Raptor (GEPA/Wolfgang Grebien)

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — After topping the field by 1.18 seconds in Thursday’s downhill training, Lara Gut said she will try to improve on her performance in Friday’s race. That would almost definitely make for a winning run in the ladies’ inaugural contest on Raptor, the new women’s downhill course in Beaver Creek.

For the second day in row, Tina Weirather finished runner-up, followed by Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia in third.

Gut, who opened the week fastest in Tuesday’s training run, was able to correct a mistake she made Wednesday in the crucial Banshee Bank section of the course.

“I’m always too late and I’m losing some speed (there). If I can’t, then it’s going to be hard to be fast into the finish,” said Gut. “I just tried to ski, not like yesterday (when) I wasn’t so clean on my skis. Today I just tried to ski clean. And this is the only difference between yesterday and today.”

Gut said she’s had to make an adjustment to the North American snow, saying it’s more aggressive and easier to make the skis turn, compared to Europe.

“I’m just going to watch the video and improve on what I did today. (There were) a few turns that I didn’t do the way I wanted. (I’m) going to try to do it even better tomorrow,” added Gut. “Tomorrow everybody has to do something. Everybody starts everything from zero.”

Last’s season’s overall champ Tina Maze had her best finish of the training week in eighth. The Slovenian said she isn’t terribly alarmed by her results at this early point in the season.

“Of course, one race was bad, but bad days happen and you have to take them if you want to be strong. It’s not that you can win everyday, you need to be able to lose too,” said Maze. “I know where I made mistakes and I know where I can do better, but two seconds I think it would be too hard for me to recover. Maybe not, but I’m feeling day by day better here, so never say never.”

Meanwhile, Maria Hoefl-Riesch, who played around with longer skis and less aggressive boots Wednesday, went back to her original setup today, which worked better for her. She finished sixth.

“Today, I had much better feeling with my equipment,” said Hoefl-Riesch. “Tomorrow, I hope I can optimize my turns. There were some turns where I lost some speed and some time.”

American Leanne Smith skied her best of three training runs, finishing ninth, which is consistent with her planned progression to get faster every day.

“I think that was a step in the right direction,” said Smith. “I think that’s what I wanted before we start racing tomorrow. (The course) is definitely getting easier to figure out. … There’s still stuff to clean up, which is what I want. I want something to focus on tonight.”

Smith has been warming up on GS skis this week, a testament to the technicality of the race hill at Beaver Creek. “I normally warm up on super G skis for downhill anyway, but today I was looking for some more aggressive skiing, so I tried to really just crank GS turns.”

Smith said Gut must be doing something right to be that far ahead, and the U.S. team will likely study Gut’s video prior to Friday’s race. She also assured Ski Racing Magazine that the girls will find some turkey and stuffing this Thanksgiving evening, but they might have to skip dessert in anticipation of Friday’s race.

Results — Beaver Creek Training Day 3

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time FIS Points
 1  11  516138 GUT Lara 1991 SUI  1:40.76
 2  19  355050 WEIRATHER Tina 1989 LIE  1:41.94
 3  27  565360 STUHEC Ilka 1990 SLO  1:42.44
 4  30  425880 SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth 1991 NOR  1:42.57
 5  22  55947 FENNINGER Anna 1989 AUT  1:42.72
 6  18  206001 HOEFL-RIESCH Maria 1984 GER  1:42.88
 7  46  55970 SCHMIDHOFER Nicole 1989 AUT  1:42.90
 8  20  565243 MAZE Tina 1983 SLO  1:42.96
 9  10  538305 SMITH Leanne 1987 USA  1:43.10
 10  13  515747 GISIN Dominique 1985 SUI  1:43.12
 11  41  55690 HOSP Nicole 1983 AUT  1:43.20
 12  33  298323 GOGGIA Sofia 1992 ITA  1:43.22
 12  8  296008 MERIGHETTI Daniela 1981 ITA  1:43.22
 14  24  55750 FISCHBACHER Andrea 1985 AUT  1:43.27
 14  16  537582 COOK Stacey 1984 USA  1:43.27
 16  15  196460 MARCHAND-ARVIER Marie 1985 FRA  1:43.33
 17  25  55576 GOERGL Elisabeth 1981 AUT  1:43.39
 18  36  56125 PUCHNER Mirjam 1992 AUT  1:43.54
 19  37  56088 TIPPLER Tamara 1991 AUT  1:43.55
 20  5  296431 STUFFER Verena 1984 ITA  1:43.58
 21  26  515766 SUTER Fabienne 1985 SUI  1:43.65
 22  9  515806 JNGLIN-KAMER Nadja 1986 SUI  1:43.69
 23  23  515573 AUFDENBLATTEN Fraenzi 1981 SUI  1:44.03
 24  12  55766 STERZ Regina 1985 AUT  1:44.04
 25  62  425929 MOWINCKEL Ragnhild 1992 NOR  1:44.07
 26  42  56177 VENIER Stephanie 1993 AUT  1:44.11
 27  21  296472 FANCHINI Elena 1985 ITA  1:44.17
 28  52  206367 HRONEK Veronique 1991 GER  1:44.20
 29  43  197295 PIOT Jennifer 1992 FRA  1:44.25
 30  28  296729 FANCHINI Nadia 1986 ITA  1:44.47
 30  3  565320 FERK Marusa 1988 SLO  1:44.47
 32  35  516185 HAEHLEN Joana 1992 SUI  1:44.48
 33  56  539536 WILES Jacqueline 1992 USA  1:44.55
 34  53  106849 YURKIW Larisa 1988 CAN  1:44.56
 35  14  495318 RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina 1981 SPA  1:44.65
 36  4  515782 KAUFMANN-ABDERHALDEN Marianne 1986 SUI  1:44.69
 37  34  515849 DETTLING Andrea 1987 SUI  1:44.71
 38  7  538573 ROSS Laurenne 1988 USA  1:44.72
 39  51  56087 SIEBENHOFER Ramona 1991 AUT  1:44.81
 40  48  298084 AGERER Lisa Magdalena 1991 ITA  1:44.98
 41  39  516219 NUFER Priska 1992 SUI  1:45.15
 42  57  55818 KOEHLE Stefanie 1986 AUT  1:45.24
 43  60  538855 FORD Julia 1990 USA  1:45.28
 44  45  206460 WENIG Michaela 1992 GER  1:45.32
 45  58  197006 GAUTHIER Marine 1990 FRA  1:45.49
 46  55  196968 BAILET Margot 1990 FRA  1:45.56
 47  40  155563 KRIZOVA Klara 1989 CZE  1:45.64
 48  50  515997 FEIERABEND Denise 1989 SUI  1:45.66
 49  31  297702 MARSAGLIA Francesca 1990 ITA  1:45.67
 50  44  297134 BORSOTTI Camilla 1988 ITA  1:45.72
 51  38  565333 BRODNIK Vanja 1989 SLO  1:45.95
 52  67  375018 COLETTI Alexandra 1983 MON  1:46.01
 53  70  107312 ROTH Julia 1993 CAN  1:46.56
 54  1  245066 MIKLOS Edit 1988 HUN  1:46.75
 55  65  539457 MARNO Anna 1992 USA  1:47.03
 56  63  155415 STRACHOVA Sarka 1985 CZE  1:47.31
 57  72  45331 SMALL Greta 1995 AUS  1:47.45
 58  68  485748 GOLENKOVA Valentina 1994 RUS  1:47.94
 59  71  35089 SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena 1984 ARG  1:48.36
 60  17  537545 MANCUSO Julia 1984 USA  1:48.70
 61  54  485631 YAKOVISHINA Elena 1992 RUS  1:49.26
 62  66  485632 BEDAREVA Maria 1992 RUS  1:49.33
 63  69  435245 CHRAPEK Karolina 1990 POL  1:49.41
 64  6  55913 MOSER Stefanie 1988 AUT  1:56.99

Geoff Mintz

Associate Editor

Geoff Mintz is a former alpine ski racer who cut his teeth at Ragged Mountain and Waterville Valley, N.H. After graduating from Holderness and UVM, he relocated to Colorado, where he worked as an instructor at Beaver Creek prior to pursuing a career in journalism. He currently lives in the woods above Vail with his wife, Colleen.

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