Marco Sullivan 14th in World Cup downhill race in Norway
KVITFJELL, Norway ” Marco Sullivan of Squaw Valley led the way for the U.S. on Friday, finishing 14th in a World Cup downhill.
“Marco skied really well up top. He skied hard today and skied the sections well, but he made one mistake, ended up wide on the turn and lost a lot of speed,” U.S. men’s Alpine coach Sasha Rearick said.
Sullivan was followed by Steven Nyman (Provo, Utah), who finished 27th. According to Rearick, the men, who have been resting since World Championships, have a little work to do to reach their potential.
“The guys haven’t raced in a while because of their break after World Championships,” Rearick said. “Yesterday was our first training run in a while, and they skied it with not 100 percent intensity. They came out and gave the effort today, but they made some mistakes in parts of the course. We can ski better than we did today. We did not get the job done.”
The men will remain in Kvitfjell for one more downhill and a super-G before heading to Are, Sweden for World Cup finals.
Manuel Osborne-Paradis of Canada earned his first victory in a World Cup downhill on Friday, edging Michael Walchhofer of Austria by 0.31 seconds.
Osborne-Paradis covered the Olympiabakken course built for the 1994 Winter Olympics in 1 minute, 47.09 seconds. His previous best downhill result was a second-placed finish in 2007 at Lake Louise, Canada. Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, the 2007 overall champion, was third.
No other Canadian has won a downhill or a super-G at Kvitfjell. The only Canadians who made the podium were Ed Podivinsky (downhill) in 1997 and Erik Guay (downhill) in 2007.
Vonn edges closer to overall title
OFTERSCHWANG, Germany ” Lindsey Vonn edged closer to making American skiing history ” and her coach said she could do better.
The defending overall champion finished eighth in a giant slalom won by Kathrin Zettel on Friday and is poised to become the first American woman to capture two overall titles, much less in consecutive years.
“It’s great Lindsey has such a big lead in the overall, but she wasn’t happy with the way she skied today,” U.S. Ski Team coach Jim Tracy said. “She skis to be on the podium in every race and she’s at a level where she can do that, she expects more of herself.”
Her nearest overall rival, Maria Riesch of Germany, was 22nd in the GS. Vonn has a 414-point lead in the overall standings with five races left and will clinch the title if she leads Riesch by 401 points or more after Saturday’s slalom.