Alpine Crew Looking Strong Heading into Bormio, Semmering
The Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team downhillers call the Stelvio track in Bormio, Italy a “real-deal downhill”...it’s dark, it’s bumpy, and it’s fast. The American men are also fast...as Ryan Cochran-Siegle has dominated the training runs, winning them by six tenths and three tenths, respectively. On the women’s side, two-time Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin will lead the tech crew at a venue where she’s had a lot of success in Semmering, Austria.
After snagging his career-best super-G result (eighth) in Val Gardena, Italy last weekend, and backing that up with his career-first podium (second place) in downhill at the same venue, Ryan is coming to the weekend at Bormio with confidence...but he’s not focusing on his results—rather, he’s focusing on his skiing. Ryan has been quick to call a winning training run “fool’s gold” in the past and knows this strong and deep field of downhillers brings the heat on race day.
“I think I got some confidence from Gardena, but also I’m just trying to focus on my skiing,” Ryan said after the second of two downhill training runs on Sunday, “I mean with training runs, people are just trying to figure out the race line, and I think I’ve been doing a good job in sections, but I still have some time to find. I’m trying to find some really good, fluid skiing throughout the whole course. It’s a fun course to ski, and there’s a certain level of intimidation and just trying to make it all the way down from start to finish, skiing as well as possible...skiing fluidly and connecting the dots.”
In the second downhill training run, Ryan said there was a rattle that makes it challenging to ski really good, clean turns. He says, “You have to have a good plan top to bottom, and know where the risk is worth it and where you have to back off and just ski through to make it through with speed.” Ryan will go into the two-day series with no expectations. Due to the weather forecast, the downhill and super-G have been swapped, so the men will kick it off with super-G on Monday, followed by downhill on Tuesday.
Travis Ganong was the last American to win a World Cup downhill, in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany on January 27, 2017. The last American skier to win a World Cup downhill race in Bormio was Bode Miller on December 29, 2007.
Jared Goldberg, who grabbed a career-best sixth place in Val Gardena Italy’s downhill, has also been strong in downhill training, with the fourth-fastest training run on Saturday, and the ninth-fastest on Sunday. Keep an eye on Bryce Bennett and Travis Ganong, who always bring the heat on race day, as well as Sam Morse and Erik Arvidsson.
Mikaela, who recently won her 67th career victory in Courchevel, France, will lead a deep tech crew in Semmering, Austria, including Paula Moltzan, Nina O’Brien, Keely Cashman, AJ Hurt, Katie Hensien, Lila Lapanja, and Resi Stiegler. Mikaela has had significant career success in this post-holiday series, traditionally held between Lienz and Semmering, Austria. Let’s talk about stats at Semmering for a moment, shall we?! Yes, yes, we know Mikaela doesn’t focus on the stats, but that doesn’t mean we can’t, right?! This is about to get fun...buckle up.
- Coming into Semmering, Mikaela Shiffrin had won 67 World Cup events, joint-third on the all-time list alongside Marcel Hirscher. Only Ingemar Stenmark (86) and Lindsey Vonn (82) have won more World Cup events.
- Mikaela has won 43 World Cup slalom events, already an all-time record among men and women. Only Stenmark (46 in giant slalom) and Vonn (43 in downhill) have won at least 43 World Cup events in a specific discipline.
- The last 28 women's World Cup slalom events were either won by Mikaela (19) or Petra Vlhová (9), since Frida Hansdotter won in Flachau on 10 January 2017.
- In her last 45 slalom starts, Mikaela finished on the podium 42 times (34 wins). Shiffrin won each of the last two World Cup slalom races held in Semmering, in December 2016 and in December 2018.
- Mikaela won the most recent giant slalom event in the World Cup, in Courchevel on 14 December. The last time she won back-to-back giant slalom events in the World Cup was four years ago, when she won both giant slalom events in Semmering, on 27 and 28 December 2016.
- Mikaela has claimed a podium finish in nine of her last 11 World Cup giant slalom appearances, with the only exceptions a 17th place in Courchevel last season and a fourth place in Courchevel on 12 December.
- Mikaela has only participated in technical events this World Cup season. She finished second and fifth in the slalom events in Levi and fourth and first in the giant slalom events in Courchevel.
- Mikaela has won 12 giant slalom events in the World Cup, second-most among active female skiers after Tessa Worley (13).
- Mikaela won four of the last five women's World Cup events held in Semmering, two slalom events, and two giant slalom events. The only exception was fifth place in the giant slalom on 28 December 2018, when Petra Vlhová won.
- Mikaela’s four World Cup wins in Semmering are already more than any other skier at this venue. She has won 12 World Cup events in Austria, most among women. Only Hermann Maier and Stenmark have won more World Cup events in Austria (both 15).
When asked about her post-Christmas success in recent years, Mikaela reflected, “I do have quite a few theories about why I tend to have pretty strong races this time of year, in this block just after Christmas through New Year’s and the beginning of the year. A big piece of it is because we know that it’s going to be a big push, even going into the season, so my whole team puts a lot of emphasis on mental and physical preparation going into this period, to know that it’s going to be tiring...and sometimes just being mentally prepared for that makes a big difference...and I think that my coaches do the absolute best job of finding the best preparation so I’m going into this period of time with confidence in my skiing.”
Speaking of preparation, Mikaela spent the last couple of weeks since Courchevel training in Reiteralm, Austria...which is also where she spent Christmas with her mother and her team. She was quick to add that though a lot of people feel “she’s back” after her win in Courchevel, people think she’s totally back and things are back to normal...she says “I don’t see it that way, and maybe ‘normal’ doesn’t exist...I didn’t come back in Courchevel, it’s always a process—my entire career has been a really long process, and it hasn’t changed just because I won a race again.” She says managing her energy throughout the weekend is something she has to re-learn. In this post-holiday race series of 15 World Cup events between Semmering and Lienz, Mikaela has podiumed 11 times (73% of them) and won seven times (46%)...including a back-to-back victory last year in Lienz, which her late father Jeff was there to witness.
Follow all of the action on Peacock TV, the Olympic Channel, NBCSN, and NBC...it’s going to be a big week as we head into the new year and kick off the much-anticipated 2021.
HOW TO WATCH
Dec. 28, 2020 - Jan. 3, 2021
All Times EST
Monday, Dec. 28
4:00 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women's Giant Slalom, Run 1 - LIVE, Semmering, AUT, Streaming Peacock
5:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men's Super-G - LIVE, Bormio, ITA, Broadcast Olympic Channel
5:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men's Super-G - LIVE, Bormio, ITA, Streaming Peacock
7:00 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women's Giant Slalom, Run 2 - LIVE, Semmering, AUT, Streaming Peacock
3:00 p.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men's Super-G - Same Day Delayed Broadcast, Bormio, ITA, Broadcast NBCSN
Tuesday, Dec. 29
5:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men's Downhill - LIVE, Bormio, ITA, Broadcast Olympic Channel
5:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men's Downhill - LIVE, Bormio, ITA, Streaming Peacock
9:15 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women's Slalom, run 1 - LIVE, Semmering, AUT, Streaming Peacock
12:30 p.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women's Slalom, run 2 - LIVE, Semmering, AUT, Streaming Peacock
Sunday, Jan. 3
6:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women's Slalom, run 1 - LIVE, Zagreb, CRO, Streaming Peacock
9:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women's Slalom, run 2 - LIVE, Zagreb, CRO, Broadcast Olympic Channel
9:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women's Slalom, run 2 - LIVE, Zagreb, CRO, Streaming Peacock
3:00 p.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women's Slalom - Same-Day Broadcast, Zagreb, CRO, Broadcast NBC
4:30 p.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men's Downhill - Replay From Bormio, Italy, Bormio, ITA, Broadcast NBC
6:30 p.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women's Slalom - Same-Day Broadcast, Zagreb, CRO, Broadcast NBCSN
All streams will be available via desktop as well as mobile, tablet, and connected television platforms. The NBC Sports, Peacock TV, and Olympic Channel app are available on the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire.