To super-G or not to super-G | VailDaily.com
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To super-G or not to super-G

BEAVER CREEK ” The biggest question is whether we will be super-G-ing today or not.

While we get a verdict on whether to super-G is a verb, the big story is weather. Snow moved Friday’s downhill down to the weather start, instead of the top of the hill, and more is apparently on the way.

Weather.com says that we’re going to get more than a foot of snow above 8,000 feet which would certainly mean that our beloved course will get pounded.

That having been said, it’s a bad idea to bet against the Beaver Creek race crew. There was no way two years ago when Beaver Creek got 18 inches of the white stuff that we were going to have a giant slalom.

The crew made it happened and Bode Miller won. Speaking of Bode, he’s our resident meteorologist for today.

“It’s an outdoor sport. This isn’t knitting,” Miller said. “We’ve got to deal with what we get, and hopefully, we can get something we can ski on.”

We’re sure that just how Al Roker would put it.

Here’s the 411, as the kids would say, on the super-G:

Weather: Don’t ask us.

Birds of Prey defending champion: Hannes Reichelt (2005).

Birds of Prey champs: Herman Maier (1997 and 1999) and Maier and Lasse Kjus (1999 Worlds, tie), Fredrik Nyberg (2000), Didier Cuche (2002), Bjarne Solbakken (2003), Stephan Goergl (2004), Hannes Reichelt (2005).

What’s new? Well, the super-G is back after a one year hiatus. Birds of Prey had super combined, downhill, giant slalom and slalom last year. Super-G is back in for slalom.

What’s new, part II? The recent trend is that newcomers win this race. It’s happened the last three times the race has been contested here with Solbakken, Goergl and Reichelt.

Number of racers: 63.

Super-G intervals: Pumphouse, Screech Owl and The Abyss.

Elevation change: We (like we’re racing) start at 10, 948 feet and head down to 8,944 feet. That would be a drop of 2,004 feet or 611 meters for people who understand the metric system.

Homologation number: 8589/10/7. (We hope this enlightens your day.)

Look out on the super-G: Racers will get The Talon right out of the gate. This turn crushed many a downhill dream Friday. And as we talked about Friday in this space, getting speed is critical. Everybody has been dumping time on Harrier and Red Tail all week.

Americans (bib number): Scott Macartney (4), Steven Nyman (6) Miller (17), Ted Ligety (32), T.J. Lanning (51) and Andrew Weibrecht (55).

Favorites: Austria’s Walchhofer has to be feeling good after Friday’s downhill win. Nyman is clearly dialed in, as is Switzerland’s Didier Cuche. Bode got the globe in super-G last year.

Dark horses: Macartney finally got a look at the whole hill Friday, so watch out. Switzerland’s Didier Defago was fourth Friday. And what about young Weibrecht? He’s skiing with the famous No. 55 bib today, primo position for him. We like him if his feet have touched the ground yet after Friday’s downhill.

Staff picks:

Freud: To quote Haley Joel Osment in “The Sixth Sense,” “I see dead people.” Bode finished sixth for me Friday, a downright stunning performance, given that I picked him. Sticking with the movie theme, I’ll take Anakin Skywalker. I think he’ll choose the good side of the Force. (By the way, Wikipedia capitalizes Force, if you’re wondering about style usage.)

Ian Cropp: Young Cropp took Nyman Friday, and it was a good pick as Planet Provo was second. Croppaganda has Bode today.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.


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