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Guay trains fast on slow snow in Beaver Creek

Erik Guay runs the hybrid course at Beaver Creek (GEPA/Wolfgang Grebien)

Erik Guay runs the hybrid course at Beaver Creek (GEPA/Wolfgang Grebien)

The hybrid downhill at Beaver Creek, a one-time creation unofficially nicknamed BOPtor, might, some day, have developed into a favorite, but in the single training run ahead of Friday’s World Cup downhill it won no instant fans among the elite competitors testing it out.

Not even Canadian Erik Guay, the fastest in the one and only training run, could say he preferred it over the traditional Birds of Prey course with which these skiers are familiar.

Freezer-cold temperatures brought out the myriad of face tape to protect competitors against frost-bite but also made for dog slow snow. Though racers said the new course, a combination of the traditional Birds of Prey men’s track and the spanking new women’s Raptor piste, was less challenging than the regular BOP, no one was willing to suggest it was easy.

“It’s not as challenging,” said Guay, “but it certainly isn’t easy.” He said he had no idea why he had been able to record the fastest time. “It didn’t feel fast, but I think the cold snow had a lot to do with that. I don’t know, maybe I pushed the line a little more than the others.”

Guay also said he had gained a bit of inspiration from the early run of American Travis Ganong. “He was smooth and looked comfortable,” Guay said, noting he watched Ganong (the fourth starter on the day) on the screen at the start.

“For sure it’s a proper downhill,” said Ganong. “It has all the elements, some big jumpps at the bottom, but the cold snow was so aggressive the speeds were down.”

The course features a number of blind gates, and the racers were definitely in the process of dialing it in after losing the first training run to a storm that locked many teams in Canada  and a dump of fresh snow that curtailed the second training run as well. Couple that with a course no one had previously run, and a lot of unknowns emerged for the athletes. “We don‘t have any names for the turns yet,” said Ganong, the top U.S. finisher in seventh. “It’s the double turn above the Pump House.”

Team star Bode Miller, who was nearly three seconds slower than Guay, said, “It doesn’t feel anything like the regular Birds of Prey. It’s really turny, but a different style of turn. The others they linked together, single gate, pretty hard fall line turns. These are traversing across the hill, huge swinging turns. Now you’re coming into Pump House (where the new hybrid course rejoins Birds of Prey), I was going no where because I made bad turns there, but I think even at race speeds it will be 30mph slower in there.”

The Austrians found some speed along the course, pounding three into the top five with Florian Scheiber leading the squad in second, Georg Streitberger fourth, and Klaus Kroell fifth. Italy’s Peter Fill was third and his teammate Dominik Paris, the winner last weekend in Lake Louise, finished just behind Ganong in eighth.

Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time FIS Points
1 19 102263 GUAY Erik 1981 CAN 1:43.48
2 26 51332 SCHEIBER Florian 1987 AUT 1:43.67
3 3 292455 FILL Peter 1982 ITA 1:43.78
4 11 50858 STREITBERGER Georg 1981 AUT 1:43.84
5 8 50753 KROELL Klaus 1980 AUT 1:43.85
6 9 292514 HEEL Werner 1982 ITA 1:44.02
7 4 530874 GANONG Travis 1988 USA 1:44.03
8 18 291459 PARIS Dominik 1989 ITA 1:44.10
9 38 511352 VILETTA Sandro 1986 SUI 1:44.17
10 28 510727 DEFAGO Didier 1977 SUI 1:44.21
11 70 53980 KRIECHMAYR Vincent 1991 AUT 1:44.25
11 14 421483 JANSRUD Kjetil 1985 NOR 1:44.25
13 24 51215 BAUMANN Romed 1986 AUT 1:44.27
14 52 54005 STRIEDINGER Otmar 1991 AUT 1:44.35
14 15 50742 REICHELT Hannes 1980 AUT 1:44.35
16 1 51327 PUCHNER Joachim 1987 AUT 1:44.36
17 2 511139 KUENG Patrick 1984 SUI 1:44.38
18 29 102899 OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel 1984 CAN 1:44.42
19 21 194190 ROGER Brice 1990 FRA 1:44.43
20 40 511313 JANKA Carlo 1986 SUI 1:44.47
21 12 293006 INNERHOFER Christof 1984 ITA 1:44.52
22 83 511513 CAVIEZEL Mauro 1988 SUI 1:44.53
23 16 421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund 1982 NOR 1:44.54
24 35 201811 STECHERT Tobias 1985 GER 1:44.55
24 30 533131 SULLIVAN Marco 1980 USA 1:44.55
26 27 102271 HUDEC Jan 1981 CAN 1:44.61
27 34 202059 FERSTL Josef 1988 GER 1:44.66
28 20 53902 MAYER Matthias 1990 AUT 1:44.74
29 41 534939 FISHER Erik 1985 USA 1:44.76
30 10 192746 THEAUX Adrien 1984 FRA 1:44.79
31 67 6530104 BENNETT Bryce 1992 USA 1:44.80
32 79 100558 COOK Dustin 1989 CAN 1:44.92
33 63 193034 BOUILLOT Alexandre 1985 FRA 1:44.97
34 17 53817 FRANZ Max 1989 AUT 1:45.10
35 22 560447 SPORN Andrej 1981 SLO 1:45.17
36 32 534562 LIGETY Ted 1984 USA 1:45.19
37 75 201987 STRODL Andreas 1987 GER 1:45.22
38 54 990081 CASSE Mattia 1990 ITA 1:45.26
39 74 150398 BANK Ondrej 1980 CZE 1:45.30
39 37 103512 FRISCH Jeffrey 1984 CAN 1:45.30
41 23 561067 PERKO Rok 1985 SLO 1:45.31
42 71 491151 DE LA CUESTA Paul 1988 SPA 1:45.36
43 72 422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR 1:45.37
44 25 533866 NYMAN Steven 1982 USA 1:45.39
45 43 293141 VARETTONI Silvano 1984 ITA 1:45.41
46 13 191740 CLAREY Johan 1981 FRA 1:45.43
47 69 380292 ZRNCIC-DIM Natko 1986 CRO 1:45.48
48 31 380260 KOSTELIC Ivica 1979 CRO 1:45.52
49 80 511529 GISIN Marc 1988 SUI 1:45.53
50 42 293550 MARSAGLIA Matteo 1985 ITA 1:45.71
51 77 200379 SANDER Andreas 1989 GER 1:45.73
52 44 191591 BERTRAND Yannick 1980 FRA 1:45.77
53 45 934518 DANIELS Nick 1991 USA 1:45.78
54 5 191964 POISSON David 1982 FRA 1:45.91
55 82 530939 WEIBRECHT Andrew 1986 USA 1:45.95
55 64 510997 BERTHOD Marc 1983 SUI 1:45.95
57 62 201606 KEPPLER Stephan 1983 GER 1:45.98
57 51 481705 GLEBOV Alexander 1983 RUS 1:45.98
59 78 561217 KOSI Klemen 1991 SLO 1:46.12
60 85 192504 MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas 1984 FRA 1:46.14
61 89 191746 DE TESSIERES Gauthier 1981 FRA 1:46.18
62 55 53936 DUERAGER Markus 1990 AUT 1:46.20
62 6 511383 FEUZ Beat 1987 SUI 1:46.20
64 56 194542 GIRAUD MOINE Valentin 1992 FRA 1:46.21
65 76 501076 OLSSON Hans 1984 SWE 1:46.28
66 7 532431 MILLER Bode 1977 USA 1:46.31
67 66 511142 LUEOEND Vitus 1984 SUI 1:46.38
68 39 53981 KROELL Johannes 1991 AUT 1:46.42
69 65 103271 THOMSEN Benjamin 1987 CAN 1:46.52
70 36 53968 BERTHOLD Frederic 1991 AUT 1:46.67
71 84 430429 BYDLINSKI Maciej 1988 POL 1:47.15
72 59 103385 PRIDY Conrad 1988 CAN 1:47.16
73 81 102961 DIXON Robbie 1985 CAN 1:47.28
74 48 511847 MANI Nils 1992 SUI 1:47.33
75 49 511981 WEBER Ralph 1993 SUI 1:47.36
76 68 294277 KLOTZ Siegmar 1987 ITA 1:47.42
77 50 934643 GOLDBERG Jared 1991 USA 1:47.45
78 73 220874 BALDWIN TJ 1990 GBR 1:47.64
79 87 20267 ESTEVE Kevin 1989 AND 1:47.79
80 60 491129 TERRA Ferran 1987 SPA 1:47.89
81 90 670037 ZAKURDAEV Igor 1987 KAZ 1:48.20
82 61 501439 HEDIN Douglas 1990 SWE 1:48.52
83 86 481054 MURAVYEV Ivan 1989 RUS 1:48.63
84 53 220695 CRAWFORD Douglas 1987 GBR 1:48.66
85 93 30149 SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier 1980 ARG 1:48.71
86 46 192932 FAYED Guillermo 1985 FRA 1:49.54
87 58 194167 MUZATON Maxence 1990 FRA 1:49.56
88 91 670058 KOSHKIN Dmitriy 1986 KAZ 1:49.75
89 92 700830 ZAMPA Adam 1990 SVK 1:50.00
90 88 20324 OLIVERAS Marc 1991 AND 1:53.69
Did not start 1st run
57 103612 PRIDY Morgan 1990 CAN
33 194364 PINTURAULT Alexis 1991 FRA
Did not finish 1st run
47 510890 ZURBRIGGEN Silvan 1981 SUI

Hank McKee

Senior Editor

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