Nyman flying down the right path | VailDaily.com
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Nyman flying down the right path

Ian Cropp
Vail, CO Colorado
BOP U.S. Fans DT 11-30-07
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BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” For a guy who refuses to slow down on the race course, Steven Nyman is pretty patient.

But as Nyman enters his third full year on the World Cup tour, he’s ready to take that next step.

“This year I want consistency,” Nyman said. “Last year had some health problems, but I still learned a lot about the races. Hopefully I can carry (Friday’s result) over.”

Nyman’s third career World Cup podium on Friday is certainly a step in the right direction.

“I’m focused,” Nyman said. “If you put your mind to something, I think it will happen. If you take the proper steps, it will happen. I’m figuring that out. They say it takes years to figure out downhill, but I don’t know, this is my third year on the tour and I have a pretty good success record for that.”

Last year, Nyman was 10th in the downhill standings and 26th overall.

“There are always higher, loftier goals,” Nyman said. “The first step is a (discipline) title, then an overall title is the next step. But I’m tired already. I don’t know how those boys race four and five events. I’ve got to figure that out.”

American Ted Ligety will likely join Nyman in the overall pursuit in due time.

For those caught up in the tremendous success of the Americans, the Swiss aren’t slacking one bit at Beaver Creek. After picking up three top-10 finishes in Thursday’s super-combined, the Swiss had three in the top-14 Friday.

“We are not a big team, but we are really close together,” said Didier Cuche.

Once a powerhouse on the World Cup, the Swiss tailed off for a few years, but have made a resurgence as of late. They will have to do without the services of Marc Berthod, however, as he’s out for a while with a leg injury.

– Friday was the second time in three years the Birds of Prey had a weather-delayed downhill start. While it may be comparing apples to oranges, Michael Walchhofer’s time of 1 minute, 13.74 seconds wouldn’t have been good enough for a podium in the 2005 weather-delayed start, when Daron Rahlves won in 1:13.37.

– Austria’s Hermann Maier didn’t enjoy the fresh flakes on course during the downhill.

“It was like cross country skiing in the middle (section),” Maier said.

– Head skis had a good day, with three skiers in the top six and five in the top 14.

– While the Austrian skiers may have their faces on posters in the stands, the Americans are taking a hands-on approach with their fan clubs. Marco Sullivan had a large crowd donning green caps that read, “Marco Rocks” and Nyman had green pins that read, “Believe in Steve”. The Nyman faithful also wore shirts designed by Steven himself that featured him skiing, with the names of all the downhills in the World Cup outlining his body.

– American Andrew Weibrecht showed why you never stop watching a race. Weibrecht catapulted from the 52 spot into the top 10 with one of the best runs on Birds of Prey in a long time. The highest start number to win any race was in a downhill in 1993 at Val Gardena, Italy, when Markus Foster of Liechtenstein won wearing the 66 bib.

– Walchhofer’s win tied him with Daron Rahlves for total number of World Cup victories (12) as well as downhill wins (9). Walchhofer has the fourth-most downhill wins among Austrians, behind Franz Klammer (25), Stephan Eberharter (18) and Maier (15).

Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or icropp@vaildaily.com.


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