BEAVER CREEK — The U.S. Ski Team women took advantage of another chance to train on Raptor, the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships race hill, with two solid days of super-G training earlier this week before snow moved in to cancel Thursday’s session.
Included in the camp was Stacey Cook, Leanne Smith, Laurenne Ross, Julia Ford and Olympic slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin. Shiffrin also joined the group this past spring for the first of what they hope will be three training opportunities on the race hill in advance of the Feb. 2-15 World Championships in Beaver Creek.
“We were just kind of getting another feel for (the track) — working on some technique and trying to get our feet back underneath us,” Ross said. “I was also really working on testing skis on winter snow because it’s hard to test ski during the spring and summer and fall because the snow — even when you go down south — it’s kind of springy.
“It feels like it’s good to go fast. I don’t really see what they could do to make it better. It’s a pretty sweet hill. You can change little parts to make it different, but it’s really unique and I think it’s going to be ready for February.”
The athletes trained from the super G start to the “Heckle and Jeckle” section, just above the bottom flat above the finish pitch.
It was Shiffrin’s second time training super-G with the women’s speed team. She also participated in a camp on the 2015 venue this past spring. It was the third time the Cook, Smith and Ross had skied on the hill after also racing on it during the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup test events past December.
“We had two really good days of super-G on the Raptor,” Ford said. “The snow was really nice — typical Colorado snow and that hill is really challenging, so it was good to get on it. The hill pulls you in different directions that you don’t want to be going in. After the super-G, especially, it’s one of those course where you wish you could go do it again or have some more training time. To be able to take some laps was really nice.”