VAL GARDENA, Italy — Travis Ganong is heating up at just the right time — and not only in his best discipline.
The Squaw Valley downhill specialist posted his career-best result in the super G on Friday, as he jumped from the 41st start position to 16th in difficult visibility on the upper half of the Saslong course in Val Gardena, Italy.
“My super G is in a really, really good spot right now,” Ganong said. “In training it’s always fast. Today, I didn’t think about anything and kind of just skied. I didn’t push as hard as I could have, but I made it to the bottom and it was good, solid skiing.”
Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal won the race for the third time since 2009 to further pad his Audi FIS Alpine World Cup overall lead.
Bode Miller, meanwhile, charged through low visibility and made an athletic move at the final gate to lead the U.S. Ski Team in eighth.
Uncharacteristically warm temperatures in the Italian valley caused fog to blanket the upper section of the course, creating problems for numerous skiers, including Ted Ligety, who did not finish the race. Americans Andrew Weibrecht and Erik Fisher earned World Cup points in 21st and 28th, respectively.
“Travis did a good job with the start number he had today,” said Sasha Rearick, U.S. men’s alpine head coach. “He went from having not scored any World Cup points in super G last season to coming down with a 16th place with good skiing from top to bottom.”
The famed Saslong Classic downhill is scheduled for Saturday. Ganong can hardly wait.
“I hope to be on the podium tomorrow,” Ganong said. “I was fifth in the last training run and I had a big mistake. I definitely have a lot more in the tank and I’m pulling out my race skis for tomorrow. If I execute my plan and ski how I know I can, I can for sure be on the podium.”