Ganong grabs win in gnarly Garmisch downhill

27 January 2017 19:34
Impressions men's World Cup Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Impressions men's World Cup Garmisch-Partenkirchen -
Agence Zoom

For the first time, an American racer won the Kandahar downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER), and it is Squaw Valley’s Travis Ganong. Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud finishes in second, while Italy’s Peter Fill takes third place in the replacement race from Wengen (SUI).

The Kandahar course was relentless. Covered in dark shadows, the men were challenged to ski technical sections and handle the changing terrain as well as the demanding jumps. More than one athlete was helicoptered off the hill, falling victim to the mountain’s might. It’s exactly the type of slope that played to the winner’s strengths.

The American was behind Jansrud at every split until the last 23 seconds of the course, where he skied from a 0.47 second deficit in the third split to a 0.38 second lead in the finish. Ganong’s success makes a lot of sense when you consider his knack for tackling dark, shadowy slopes. His only other World Cup win was in Santa Caterina, Italy, in 2014, which is an equally challenging venue.

More familiar to the World Cup podium is Jansrud, who has been in the mix six times this season in three different disciplines. This result puts Jansrud in the lead in the men’s downhill standings with 202 points, eking out a three-point lead over the day’s third-place finisher, Fill. The Italian, who won the 2016 World Cup downhill globe, has had one other downhill podium finish this season, earning second place in Val d’Isere. He was not completely satisfied with his run, especially his mistake in the lower part, though he was happy to be on the podium.

American Downhiller Steven Nyman was one of the athletes helicoptered off the hill after crashing into the fence. He suffered a knee injury and will be out the rest of the season. Frenchman Valentin Giraud Moine, who earned second place in the downhill at Kitzbuehel, last week, was also evacuated after taking a devastating fall and sliding into the fence. There is no word yet as to the extent of his injuries. French fellow Guillermo Fayed skied down, but he hit his knee and is likely to sit out the rest of the season as well.

The men race another downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on Saturday, which will start at 12.00 CET.

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