The men brought their attention back to Mont Edouard for the NorAm giant slalom races this week. The two-days ignited with solid snow, technical skiing, and men gunning for more speed. The hill is set up with a long, steep, and icy section, which resembles a World Cup hill. Most of the athletes already saw the hill, as they punched the slalom a few days before the GS. River Radamus of the U.S. Alpine B Team confidently took on the challenge of this hill and struck gold on the first day. On the second day, George Steffey of the U.S. Alpine C Team arced the pitch earning himself a first-place finish.
“We had really stellar conditions. The courses were really icy and a bit bumpy, which was a lot closer to a World Cup kind of hill! That was super great for the races,” Kyle Negomir of the U.S. Alpine B Ski Team explained.
River Radamus (USA), wearing bib-19, accelerated down the hill with the confidence he has obtained from running the World Cup terrain and speed. Since December, Radamus (USA) has mainly been focusing on the World Cup Tour, thus he was ready to attack this NorAm GS. He propelled out of both start gates and laid down two, consistently fast times. This earned him a substantial lead that was 1.24 over the rest of the field. This marked Radamus’s (USA) sixth NorAm win for his ski racing career.
In an interview at the end of racing the Birds of Prey, Radamus (USA) proclaimed, “I want it bad! You just have to trust your inspection and trust your skiing and commit.”
Coming down into the silver-medal position was teammate, Kyle Negomir (USA), sporting bib-16. Negomir (USA) inspected a day that started with a straighter course set and then the second run had some more turn shape added to it. Although both were set differently, they maintained quick speed.
“My coach, Matt Underhill, set the second run of the day and there was definitely some speed in that set. The sets run down the same pitch as the slaloms, so that is fast and fun,” Negomir (USA) explained.
Negomir further added, “Today was sweet! Having our guys in the top-five was a really good day for our team.”
Sending it into the third-place position was Erik Arvidsson of the Middlebury College Ski Team, running bib-29. He concluded the day with an overall time, 0.70 behind the silver-medal spot. Running 29th in the pack and ending third was one of the biggest gains in the race.
Last week, Arvidsson (Middlebury) also took home the bronze medal at the University Race in Sugarloaf, Maine. Due to the goals, he expressed at the last NorAm series in Vermont, the podium spot representing Middlebury College gave him confidence into this week’s NorAm series
“With the Carnival races starting up my goal is to do my part on the team. For the NorAm races, I want to get myself established in the seed and ski my best.” Arvidsson (Middlebury) iterated before this series.
Two other U.S. Ski Team athletes, Brian Mclaughlin and George Steffey concluded the top-five of the leader board for the first day. It was a great NorAm day for the U.S. male athletes, nevertheless, they continued to push themselves by setting a new focus for the next day of racing.
Negomir (USA) stated, “The main take away from today for the team was giving a bit too much respect to the hill and over skiing it, so tomorrow we all just need to send it harder and attack more.”
Waking up into day-two of the Mont Edouard giant-slaloms, the men were ready to turn the switch up to higher. The athletes inspected an A-rhythmic straight course in the morning and a grindy course with swing in the afternoon. These various elements made for an exciting day of racing, where the athletes had to utilize opposing capabilities.
George Steffey skiing for the U.S. Alpine C Ski Team, came down early wearing bib-4, arcing each turn and finding speed where he could. After two strong and speedy runs, he reigned in the gold-medal spot. His overall time was 2:29.74, which was 0.46 ahead of the field.
“Today was really good! We had a fantastic surface out here! It was an overall step in the right direction for sure! My main focus was just trying to ski a little more down the hill. The hill runs steeply into a flat section, so I tried to be smooth and fluid. I wanted to ski down the hill, trust my skiing, and trust the way that I know how to ski.” Steffey (USA)
Steffey (USA) had just returned from the European Cup, so he reflected on the focuses he brought back to the states from those races.
Steffey (USA) explained, “Racing the European Cup there is not much separation of levels of ski racers, the fields are deep, and the hills are short. Therefore, every single turn counts. I tried to take some of that mentality and intensity into this series.”
Teammate, River Radamus (USA) found himself another podium finish. He concluded the second day in the silver-medal position. In previous interviews, Radamus (USA) has gone over the fact that he has “set very high expectations” for himself. These two NorAm GS races have strengthened his position in the seed.
Rounding out the podium, Asher Jordan of the BC Ski Team shined through by breaking the predominantly U.S., top-five leaderboard. Wearing bib-15, Jordan (CAN) laid down fluid arcs ending him with a combined time of 2:30.80, just 0.60 behind Radamus (USA). This was Jordan’s (CAN) third podium finish this season in the NorAm series.
The top-five completed with two more U.S. athletes skiing onto the leader board. Bridger Gile of the U.S. Alpine C Team skied into fourth-place and Kyle Negomir (USA) acquired fifth-place.
The men continue to finish out this series with the exhilarating parallel slalom races.
George Steffey (USA) states with anticipation, “for the parallel slalom races I just need to keep trusting myself and keep skiing the way that I know how to ski.”
Stay tuned for the men dueling it out in the parallel slalom races on February 7th, 2020!