Tim Jitloff wins gold in World Juniors combined; Stiegler second for women


Tim Jitloff wins gold in World Juniors combined; Stiegler second for womenTim Jitloff has won the gold medal in the combined category at World Junior Championships, which have concluded in Bardonnecchia, Italy. “I don’t know what to say,” said Jitloff. “It’s a great venue, pretty similar to Sunday River, except it’s sunnier.”

All week, Jitloff had been dueling with Kjetil Jansrud of Norway. Coming into the final race (the GS on Sunday), Jansrud led Jitloff by less the narrowest possible margin in the standings.

Resi Stiegler, who spent the week platooning between Bardonnechia and the women’s World Cup half an hour away in San Sicario, was second in the women’s race.

“The drive is only about half an hour, and we can do it pretty fast,” said Stiegler in the finish area at the World Cup. “I finished yesterday at 3:45, and then I had to pack up my eight bags and put them on the van so that the Rossi guy could bring them over for me. Then I went to dryland, ate, and waited for my technician. Got here at 10. Then I unloaded everything and went to bed.”

Bardonechhia is the site of next winter’s Olympic snowboarding competitions. “The snow was perfect,” said Jitloff. “You could run 30 guys and not even have a groove.”

Jitloff said the medals are similar to those given out at alpine world championships.

“I’m not worried about that at all,” said Jitloff, when asked if he was disappointed not to have won an individual event, which means a ticket to World Cup Finals. “I’d rather go home to the U.S. and finish up the NorAm circuit.”

World Juniors combined medals are based on cumulative FIS points in the downhill, GS and slalom. This year’s American team did not finish quite as strongly as last season’s. Julia Mancuso and Lindsey Kildow have moved on to senior status and the World Cup, and Jeffrey Harrison, last year’s GS champ, is home in the United States, having pulled out of European competition last month.

“Nobody else who started in the first seven did that well,” said Jitloff of this year’s GS, in which he finished The sun came out after bib 10 and made the flats faster. Lots of guys from behind were punching in there.”

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