A guide to today’s super-G
BEAVER CREEK – Some quick facts on today’s race at 11 a.m.:Forecast: High of 31 degrees with a chance of afternoon snow showers, according to Weather.com. Odds are we’re looking at somewhere in the low 20s at Red Tail CampDefending champion: Stephan Goergl, Austria. He’s wearing bib No. 22 today.Previous Birds of Prey Super-G champs: Hermann Maier, Austria, 1997; Maier, 1998; Maier and Lasse Kjus, Norway, tie at 1999 Worlds; Fredrik Nyberg, Sweden, 2000; Didier Cuche, Switzerland, 2002 and Bjarne Solbakken, Norway, 2003.Starting elevation: 10,948 feet
Finish elevation: 8,944 feetVertical drop: 2,005 feetLength: 6,165 feetLook out: Right out of the gate, racers will hit The Talon. The Pumphouse should claim its fair share of victim and there’s a reason they call it The Abyss. Just ask Bode Miller.Timing intervals: The Pumphouse, Golden Eagle and The Abyss.
Spectator access: If you’re going to ski or snowboard, try The Pump House. There will be very little skier access at Red Tail Camp, so use the buses and watch from The Finish Stadium.Fab Five: The top 30 ends with Michael Walchhofer (Austria), Benjamin Raich (Austria), Daron Rahlves (U.S.A.), Maier and Miller in that order. That is what we call a wham-bam finish.Favorites: Any of the five previous names are a safe bet. Norway’s Askel Lund Svindal won the first super-G of the season in Lake Louise, Alberta, as well as his teammate Kjetil Andre Aamodt. Also, look out for Austria’s Fritz Strobl and Christoph Gruber. Goergl is a sentimental pick to repeat.Dark horses: Andreas Schifferer of Austria and Cuche could slide in there. Kjus simply has the magic here, having won five medals at Vail ’99 and the giant slalom last year. Solbakken also has a history here.Staff picks:
Ian Cropp: SvindalShauna Farnell: RahlvesChris Freud: MaierSports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14630 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado