Stiegler joins in for her own super ride
Vail, CO Colorado
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” Resi Stiegler was supposed to train with the U.S. Men’s team Monday.
But when the super-G was moved from Saturday to Monday, the plans changed a bit.
“The guys said, ‘Why don’t you just forerun?'” said Stiegler, a free-spirited member of the Women’s U.S. Team.
So after the first five male forerunners took their turn, down came Stiegler.
“The last time I skied on super-G skis was at (U.S.) Nationals,” Stiegler said. “It was good. Forerunning is different than racing. You just hop in the gates and go. It was so fun to be able to do that.”
“To be able to get on the hill and kind of inspect a super-G getting ready for Aspen is good for me,” Stiegler said. “You just get the feel for it and have a little more respect for the men.”
Along with training, Stiegler came to town to watch some of the guys race and visit injured Norwegian skier Aksel Lund Svindal before heading to Aspen for three races this weekend.
“I’ll take any chance I can get to race on the men’s course because it’s so sweet,” Stiegler said.
Although she’s primarily a technical skier, Stiegler enjoyed taking a speed run on a course she’s never skied before.
“I love speed, and this is such a cool hill and I think a lot of the women’s courses aren’t as challenging. I don’t ski speed, and I made it down, so I’m pretty sure Lindsey Vonn could kill everyone on that hill,” she said.
After two days of downhill training, the women kick things off in Aspen with a downhill on Friday, followed by a super-G on Saturday, where Stiegler may or may not be a favorite, and a giant slalom on Sunday.
Before departing for Aspen, however, we leave you with some parting thoughts from Beaver Creek.
– While Monday’s success by the Austrians (five in the top six) was impressive, it wasn’t close to their biggest sweep. In a 1999 giant slalom at Innsbruck, Austria, the home guys went an unprecedented one through nine. The previous record had been the top six spots, set by the French in a 1968 downhill and then again by the Austrians in a 1998 downhill.
– Congratulations to American Andrew Weibrecht, who officially become “The guy whose run you can’t miss.” Following his spectacular downhill performance, he became an immediate Rock Star.
“A lot of people came up and said, ‘Good run,’ and I just want to give them something entertaining now. I feel like I’ve set a standard,” Weibrecht said.
– Bonus points to anyone who can answer this: How does Bode Miller, after losing an inside edge on his right ski, record the fastest final split in the super-G?
– Hannes Reichelt won Monday’s super-G under sunny skies in 1 minute, 19.87 seconds. Two years ago, on a snowy and windy day, Reichelt won in 1:17.33. Sound strange? Well if you saw Monday’s course set, you wouldn’t.
– Sunday, Switzerland’s Dider Cuche took the overall lead and said that teammate Daniel Albrecht would have been in the lead had Albrecht skied in Lake Louise, Alberta. On Monday Albrecht officially took the lead with a fourth-place finish.
– From the office of “Wish you were” we bring you skiers Svindal and J.J. Johnson, as well as journalist Paul Robbins. Svindal is clearly one of the best skiers out there, but there really aren’t many better guys on the World Cup circuit either. Johnson, the former U.S. Team skier, gave Marco Sullivan a run for his money when it came to smiling contests. And Robbins’ knowledge, wit and humor always add flavor to a press room.
– As the International Ski Federation, coaches and skiers noted throughout the week, the Vail Valley Foundation and Beaver Creek really do know how to put on some races. If anyone voting for the 2013 World Alpine Ski Championships was in town, they couldn’t be anything but impressed.
– See you next powder day at the Birds of Prey downhill start for my reenactment of Weibrecht’s run.
Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or email@example.com.