Downhillers Kick Off In Frigid Lake Louise
While the women are kicking off a big weekend at the HomeLight Killington Cup on home turf, let's not forget about the men up in Lake Louise, Canada. Even though it's frigid up in our neighbor to the north, it's heating up for the downhillers, as Ryan Cochran-Siegle finished fourth in Thursday's downhill training run and Travis Ganong finished second in Friday's second and final training run.
The Swiss commonly referred to as "Iceman" - Carlo Janka - clocked the fastest time in both downhill training runs with Austrian Matthias Meyer setting the pace for whole slew of Austrians including Vincent Kriechmayr and Max Franz. Don't be fooled, though, as Italian stallion Dominik Paris and Swiss Beat Feuz are not to be counted out, despite not being in the top five in either downhill training run. After all, tomorrow's the real - and the real show is where it matters most! All of that said, training runs are for figuring out the equipment set-up and dialing in the fast line, and the Americans were in the mix and sending it.
Ryan had the fourth-fastest training run on Thursday, while Travis was second in Friday's training run. With two training runs under their belts, they've become familiar with the terrain and the snow. "The jumps kick, but they're not actually built up that big, really, so it's kind of interesting to play with," commented Ryan." A lot of the terrain is pretty minor. Skiing-wise, it seems like it flows a little easier, which will make the race quite a bit more challenging to be fast, because it'll add up with little mistakes here and there. Today I wanted to run an aggressive line...you learn a lot by sticking to tighter lines and seeing where you can build time, where it's going to push you off. I just have to execute when it comes to race day."
"It's really cold and grippy and not that fast," said Travis, who echoed Ryan's sentiments about the mellow terrain on this year's track. "A lot of the terrain is really mellowed out, so you can really attack the course. It's pretty mellow, pretty easy, and for me the first training run I had some pretty bad feelings - the snow is so different from Colorado - but then I adjusted my set-up a bit, and today's run was really good, so I'm feeling pretty confident going into tomorrow's race. Trying not to have any real expectations, just have fun."
"Track's great, the snow is super easy," reflected veteran Steven Nyman. "It's cold, so the snow is slow right now, but as the week progresses it will definitely get faster and faster. It's always nerve-wracking. You have training all summer, but you never really know until you get to the races where you're standing. There are definitely some errors I could clean up, but for the most part, everything was really good and I'm pleased with how I feel right now. So now it just comes down to execution and that progression to race day mode."
What does it take to win on a track like Lake Louise? "Lake Louise is a tricky race, because there aren't a lot of places you can get back up to speed," Nyman continued, "so if you can be mistake free top-to-bottom and continually gain speed, that's how you really perform and win here."
Let's go boys! Time to bring the heat!
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Saturday, Nov. 30
9:40 a.m. - Women’s giant slalom run 1, Killington, Vt. - Olympic Channel & Olympic Channel.com
12:30 p.m. - Women’s giant slalom run 1, Killington, Vt. - NBCSN & NBCSports.com
2:00 p.m. - Men’s downhill, Lake Louise, Alberta - Olympic Channel & Olympic Channel.com
3:30 p.m. - Women’s giant slalom, Killington, Vt. - NBC*
9:00 p.m. - Men’s downhill, Lake Louise, Alberta - NBCSN*
Sunday, Dec. 1
9:40 a.m. - Women’s slalom run 1, Killington, Vt. - Olympic Channel & Olympic Channel.com
12:30 p.m. - Women’s giant slalom run 1, Killington, Vt. - NBC
2:00 p.m. - Men’s super-G, Lake Louise, Alberta - NBC
Note: All televised events to stream across NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app, OlympicChannel.com, and Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA app.
Exclusive commercial-free coverage will be available for subscribers of the NBC Sports Gold Pass, available here: https://www.nbcsports.com/gold/snow.