BEAVER CREEK, Colo. – Comfortable temperatures and bluebird skies greeted the men of the World Cup tour as they kicked off action at the 2015 Audi Birds of Prey with the first of two downhill training runs.
Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud set the pace at 1:44.04 seconds, 0.25 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Carlo Janka, though the Swiss skier admitted to missing at least three gates during his run. A total of 20 starters failed to complete the entire course with legal passage.
“It’s a difficult downhill. It’s a technical, tough downhill but it still has some really nice flow to it from edge to edge, it feels nice,” Jansrud said of the track. “It’s one of the coolest downhills of the year. I like the downhill, and hopefully I’ll like it as much on Friday.”
Jansrud, who left last weekend’s Lake Louise races empty-handed despite strong training runs, expressed some frustration but was quick to look ahead to the coming races in Beaver Creek. “I don’t know, it’s hard, so the skiing is really, really good and then parts were really bad. I lost a lot in the bottom sections,” he said. “I was still winning training runs with a bad bottom section, and I think Saturday, maybe I just wanted it a little too much, but I still was fast in the flat sections. Sunday I skied a pretty good super G, but lost in the flat sections. So I’m doing some minor adjustments to my equipment and hopefully I’ll take away those things.”
Leading the American contingent was Steven Nyman in 10th, 0.79 seconds off of Jansrud. Nyman not only spoke of his own performance, but pointed towards the speed of the men’s team as a whole.
“What’s good is we have speed: Travis getting on the podium in Lake Louise, I had great training runs, I know I have speed. Training with the Norwegians (in Copper), beating them in training, knowing we’re right there, it’s cool. This is one of those tracks where I know I can do well on it just because I have three podiums here. It’s gonna be fun this weekend.”
Norwegian young gun Aleksander Aamodt Kilde continued his streak of attack-from-the-back skiing, coming from the 58th start position to end up seventh, just ahead of his teammate and last week’s downhill and super G double winner, Aksel Lund Svindal.
Bode Miller, who is working as an analyst for NBC this week, foreran the course this morning on his new Bomber Ski set-up.
“It’s tough to jump in a course like this with a set-up that I wasn’t exactly 100 percent confident on, but the skis were amazing,” Miller said. “I just have to make a couple of adjustments. It was fun.”
A second training run is scheduled for Thurdsay, Dec. 3, before racing action gets underway on Friday, Dec. 4.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||Diff.|
|7||58||422139||KILDE Aleksander Aamodt||1992||NOR||1:44.71||+0.67|
|8||20||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||1:44.73||+0.69|
|19||37||194542||GIRAUD MOINE Valentin||1992||FRA||1:45.74||+1.70|
|45||50||380292||ZRNCIC DIM Natko||1986||CRO||1:47.02||+2.98|
|Did not start 1st run|