After two hours of weather delays, the famed Hahnenkamm was shortened—with the fastest times coming in at under a minute. Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) was the top American downhiller on Saturday, taking fifth place—his best ever result in Kitzbuehel.
After winning both training runs, Kjetil Jansrud of Norway stepped on top of the podium again. Paris Dominik of Italy was second, just missing first place by .02 seconds, and Guillermo Fayed of France took third.
"This is a good step forward and confidence builder going into Beaver Creek," Nyman said after his downhill run. "I want to give it everything and see what I got. Hopefully I can win or get a medal. I’m stoked."
The racers could hear the 60-70,000-person crowd in the start gate and even with massive delays and falling snow, the audience was electric. The spectators lined the finish of ski racing’s Super Bowl—a right-of-passage race for so many skiers. As Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY) said after the super G, “Every ski racer has two goals: an Olympic medal and a podium or a win in Kitzbuehel.”
The racers still got up to almost 80 mph, but on such a short track, there was very little room for error. Both Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA) and Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA) noted that, making a couple quick mistakes, which put them down in 41st and 44th, respectively.
Meanwhile at St. Moritz, Switzerland, Lauren Ross led the USA in 12th spot at the final Audi FIS Ski World Cup women’s downhill before World Championships. Alice McKennis was 22nd while a late-race error send Lindsey Vonn down to 23rd. She retained her World Cup downhill lead. Super G set for Sunday before the team heads back to America for World Championships at Vail/Beaver Creek.
Photos: Top -- USA's Travis Ganong takes the famed Streif course during Hahnenkamm weekend training runs (Mitch Gunn/USST); Below -- Crowds upwards of 70,000 make the Hahnenkamm Austria's version of the Super Bowl (Kitzbuehel)