Marco Odermatt of Switzerland wins opening Birds of Prey super-G
World Cup ski racing returns to U.S. in Beaver Creek
The Birds of Prey super-G got underway on time as scheduled on Thursday, with ski racers hitting the track at 11:45 a.m.
Marco Odermatt of Switzerland was the seventh racer on course and took an early lead with a time of 1:08.61. The lead held through the next 54 ski racers as Odermatt won handily; his time was .78 seconds faster than second-place Matthias Mayer. Broderick Thompson rounded out the podium in third place, .95 seconds behind Odermatt.
“His skiing is good. His tactic is very aggressive,” Mayer told The Associated Press after the win. “And that’s what makes him so fast.”
This marked back-to-back super-G wins for Odermatt at Beaver Creek (sandwiched around last season’s cancellation because of the coronavirus pandemic). In 2019, he was on edge the whole way down.
In this one, same thing.
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“You had to attack and be clever in some sections and the combination worked well,” Odermatt told the AP. “It’s really difficult here, as always. You just have to trust your feeling and your skiing.”
The super-G marks the return of men’s professional ski racing in the U.S. as the World Cup did not visit North America last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fact that the course has not been skied in two years was emphasized by the first two skiers, who did not complete the course. All told, 14 racers didn’t finish the daunting Birds of Prey track.
Ryan Cochran-Siegle of Vermont was the top finishing American in 19th. Cochran-Siegle was also the top-finishing American in the first downhill race of the season, finishing 10th in Lake Louise on Nov. 27.
Another super-G is scheduled to start at 10:45 a.m. on Friday in Beaver Creek.
Pat Graham of The Associated Press contributed reporting.