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Ganong Podiums at Lake Louise

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
November, 28 2015

LAKE LOUISE, Alberta (Nov. 28, 2015) – After a solid three days of training, Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA) threw down a fast run on Saturday to grab third place at the Lake Louise downhill.

The downhill track at Lake Louise was yet again the creator of a comeback fairytale as Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway claimed victory by the narrowest possible margin, just 0.01 seconds, in his first World Cup speed race since an Achilles injury kept him off tour all of last season. He edged out Italian Peter Fill, who held the lead from his bib 4 start all the way until Svindal came down 16 skiers later.

In the final spot on stage, Ganong rounded out the podium at an unlikely venue for the 27 year old. He was the first U.S. Ski Team athlete on course, and his time held up for third place despite numerous attacks from the top 7 skiers.

“I’ve really struggled here at Lake Louise in the past. I really didn’t do well here when I was at the NorAm level, kind of figuring it out. This year the snow is just so perfect that I was able to push hard and ski like I want to ski and be competitive. So I’m really happy with how it worked out,” said Ganong, whose best finish at Lake Louise prior to Saturday was a 10th place. “On a day like today it’s the best day to be a racer – it’s perfect conditions, perfect weather, sunny. It’s a good start to the winter.”


Travis Ganong grabbed a podium spot at the Lake Louise downhill - his first podium at Lake Louise. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Alexis Boichard)

Pre-race favorite Kjetil Jansrud was going for broke on the hill, and his aggressive movements and direct line cost him the tenths that Svindal managed to hold. Jansrud ultimately finished ninth, 0.77 seconds off his teammate, after a rough and ragged run.

“On race day people get really over-amped sometimes. You saw that today, like Jansrud had some mistakes and some of the other favorites had mistakes because they were pushing really hard,” remarked Ganong. “For me it’s all about staying relaxed and skiing within myself and having fun and trusting in my ability.”

Ganong holds onto the American Downhillers’ denim vest this week after Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) finished tied for 16th with Patrick Kueng and Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY), who had to take a rerun after being flagged off course, finished tied for 24th with Bostjan Kline. Vermont native Drew Duffy (Warren, VT) made his World Cup debut but lost his outside ski on the bumpy terrain. He slid toward the fences but was able to get up and ski down without injury. Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, CA) finished 38th, Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA) was 41st and Wiley Maple (Aspen, CO) was 49th.

“Hopefully next week my teammates are knocking at the door with me. I’d be proud to hand (the vest) off to the next guy or hold onto it for another week,” said Ganong.

The men will race a super G at Lake Louise on Sunday morning with the start set for 11 a.m. local time. NBC Sports Live Extra will live stream the race starting at 1 p.m. ET.

Highlights

  • Travis Ganong landed on the podium at the Lake Louise downhill, taking third place.
  • Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway won the event. He has a total of seven wins at Lake Louise, including six super G victories, which may prove fortuitous on Sunday. Peter Fill of Italy was second.
  • Steven Nyman had a few mistakes and finished 16th. Andrew Weibrecht was 24th. Bryce Bennet was 38th, Marco Sullivan 41st and Wiley Maple 49th. Drew Duffy DNFed.
  • The men will race a super G at Lake Louise on Sunday morning at 11 a.m. MT. NBC Sports Live Extra will live stream the race.

QUOTES
Travis Ganong
I’ve really struggled here at Lake Louise in the past. I really didn’t do well here when I was at the NorAm level, kind of figuring it out. This year the snow is just so perfect that I was able to push hard and ski like I want to ski and be competitive. So I’m really happy with how it worked out. On a day like today it’s the best day to be a racer – it’s perfect conditions, perfect weather, sunny. It’s a good start to the winter.

Hopefully I learned something about how this whole thing works, build through the training runs and be able to do it on race day. It’s a matter of just not pushing too hard, skiing within yourself. On race day people get really over-amped sometimes. You saw that today, like Jansrud had some mistakes and some of the other favorites had mistakes because they were pushing really hard. For me it’s all about staying relaxed and skiing within myself and having fun and trusting in my ability.

Steve Nyman last year, he ended with the [American Downhillers] vest after World Cup Finals. So that was my goal all summer was to get the vest back, and I think I got it today so I have the American Downhillers vest back for this week at least. Hopefully next week my teammates are knocking at the door with me. I’d be proud to hand it off to the next guy or hold onto it for another week.

Steven Nyman
I was pretty bummed. I skied really well on some sections, but I had a pretty good mistake coming off of the fallaway. I lost connection with that ground and was pretty low. That’s pretty key to carrying speed down here. I had some really fast skis on today. I was obviously going for it and it’s a hill you can’t make mistakes like that on. I was kind of bummed. My skiing’s good and I’m in a good place. It’s just a matter of cleaning that up. I’m pretty stoked for Travis. Our team is fast right now. As a group, we’ve been training well and training well with the Norwegians. We know we have the speed, it’s just a matter of us performing.

RESULTS
Men’s downhill results

On site reporting provided by Ski Racing.