Travis Ganong earns first win
December 30, 2014
SANTA CATERINA, Italy — Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, California) took advantage of a new course for the men’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup tour and punched through for his career first victory, winning the Santa Caterina downhill.
Austria’s Matthias Mayer was the only one who got close to Ganong, finishing in second, nine-hundredths of a second back. Italy’s Dominick Paris was third.
A traditional site for women’s downhill, including World Championships in 1985 and 2005, it was first time for the men on the Deborah Campognini downhill, which Ganong used to his advantage.
"It was a perfect run!" said Ganong. "I love to take on a new challenge and a new slope. I love the hill — the mountains are huge here and it’s fun skiing."
Ganong took advantage of information from teammate Steven Nyman (Sundance, Utah), who won last weekend’s Val Gardena downhill and was on the podium in Beaver Creek. Nyman started out for the USA in the eighth starting position, executing his planned line but finding clearly where time could be gained. His radioed advice to Ganong proved beneficial.
Starting 16th, Ganong took charge of the race from the outset. He skied a very straight line to build a lead, then nailed a perfect sweeping turn through the final carousel to take the lead. It was his second career podium after finishing third in Kvitfjell, Norway, last February.
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Nyman ended up 15th as the Americans notched back-to-back downhill wins. Jared Goldberg (Holladay, Utah) was 24th with Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley) 29th. Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley) was 50th while Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, New York) did not finish.
The men’s downhill tour now gets a break until the Lauberhorn in Wengen, Switzerland, Jan. 16-18. The tech team is in action with a slalom Jan. 6 in Zagreb, Croatia, before heading to Adelboden, Switzerland.
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