Rudi Riet

AKA songfta AKA randomduck - a USSA coach, as well
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Welcome to Pugski's coverage of the 2018 FIS Alpine World Cup races from Killington, Vermont!

Quickly, here's a list of the names submitted by the U.S. Ski Team and Alpine Canada for this weekend's races:

USST
GS:

AJ Hurt
Abi Jewett
Patricia Mangan
Nina O'Brien
Foreste Peterson
Mikaela Shiffrin
SL:
Katie Hensien
Lila Lapanja
Paula Moltzan
Nina O'Brien
Mikaela Shiffrin
Resi Stiegler

Alpine Canada
GS:

Marie-Michele Gagnon
Valeria Grenier
Erin Mielzynski
Roni Remme
Amelia Smart
Laurence St-Germain
Mikaela Tommy
SL:
Erin Mielzynski
Roni Remme
Amelia Smart
Laurence St-Germain

I'll be up at Killington from Friday through Sunday (skiing on Friday before the opening press conferences), reporting from the trenches. @AaronFM will be making the mirror slap with his photography skills, and the two of us will collaborate on some of the most unique coverage of this event on the 'net.
 

Viking9

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For you guys who are close to the US skiers, is their a young man or gal who is beating any of the Euro’s in junior events , not promise but actual head to head competition??
In other sports as the season winds down an up and comer will sometimes get a chance against the big boys or girls.
 

PinnacleJim

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Here's the US TV coverage of the races:

Giant Slalom, Second Run

LIVE: 1:00-2:00 p.m. November 24th on NBCSN

DELAYED: 3:00-4:30 p.m. November 24th on NBC

Slalom, Second Run

LIVE: 1:00-3:00 p.m. November 25th on NBC
 

Muleski

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For you guys who are close to the US skiers, is their a young man or gal who is beating any of the Euro’s in junior events , not promise but actual head to head competition??
In other sports as the season winds down an up and comer will sometimes get a chance against the big boys or girls.
Over the last 5-6 years we have had MANY exceptional results, head to head, in the top junior races in the world. They start very young at events like Trofeo Topolino, and the Whistler Cup. There are a number of U16 events held in Europe that have fields that represent the world's best: Seven Nations Cup, Jr. Hahnenkamm, Pokal Loka in Slovenia, etc. Then, of course the big event is the FIS Jr, World Champs, which are limited to competitors ages 20 and under.

At Junior Worlds, you often find competitors who have been racing on the WC for a couple of seasons or longer {MS, Hirscher, etc.}. In some cases, they have been doing most of their racing at the Europa Cup level, or in North America in NorAms. If you look at a lot of past WJC medalists, or top 10 finishers, you see a lot of familiar American names. Two of the last three men's DH gold medalists are American.

We compete very well at the junior ages. The challenge has been to deliver that promise on the WC for many.
Now as far as letting the younger racers have a shot, the USST can enter whoever they want in any WC. But, having your first WC race experience is a bit dependent on the expectations. Often it's just to see what it's all about, to get used to it. Most racing in their first WC's are starting very far in back, and it's been rare for the Americans to break into a second run, etc., thought not unheard of. You'd have to ask those in the USST system about athlete development plans, which are absolutely not "one size fits all."

And, some keep progressing on a steep trajectory. Abi Jewett is starting her first WC at Killington. She just turned 18. Last year was her first WJC's, and she finished both tech events in the 30's. In two years she might be a threat to win both. it will be a good experience for her to start in Killington. Will leave it at that.

Anybody not named Shiffrin {or Resi} qualifying for a second run will be a great accomplishment. Pay attention to some of the birth years for the younger women, non American women. Not sure how to explain that development.

We have had, and do have some very strong young guys as well.
 
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Tricia

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I'll be up at Killington from Friday through Sunday (skiing on Friday before the opening press conferences), reporting from the trenches. @AaronFM will be making the mirror slap with his photography skills, and the two of us will collaborate on some of the most unique coverage of this event on the 'net.
I really enjoyed your coverage last year and am really looking forward to yours and Aaron's view this year.
 
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Rudi Riet

Rudi Riet

AKA songfta AKA randomduck - a USSA coach, as well
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OK, first quick report from The Evening Before™:

Athletes got a chance to train on Skye Lark and get a controlled free ski run on Superstar before the French coach set tomorrow's first run GS course. The athletes are really stoked about the snow conditions, although Tessa Worley (FRA) was not as pleased with the unseasonably cold weather (and it was a bit brisk on the mountain today, aleit very sunny with great snow cover - best early New England skiing in many years).

Tomorrow's start list has a field of 66 athletes. First seed:

1. SHIFFRIN Mikaela (USA)
2. BRUNNER Stephanie (AUT)
3. HOLDENER Wendy (SUI)
4. REBENSBURG Viktoria (GER)
5. WORLEY Tessa (FRA)
6. BRIGNONE Federica (ITA)
7. MOWINCKEL Ragnhild (NOR)
8. HROVAT Meta (SLO)
9. CURTONI Irene (ITA)
10. HANSDOTTER Frida (SWE)
11. BASSINO Marta (ITA)
12. HECTOR Sara (SWE)
13. DREV Ana (SLO)
14. HAASER Ricarda (AUT)
15. VLHOVA Petra (SVK)

Shiffrin ended up with bib 1 as the last to draw her start number - quite the luck of the draw... of other athletes.

Other notables:

17. GUT Lara (SUI)
18. VEITH Anna (AUT)
23. GAGNON Marie-Michele
26. TILLEY Alex (GBR)
32. TOMMY Mikaela (CAN)
36. GRENIER Valerie (CAN)
38. HURT A.J. (USA)
49. PETERSON Foreste (USA)
50. MANGAN Patricia (USA)
58. O'BRIEN Nina (USA)
61. JEWETT Abi (USA)

I got a chance to speak at length with Lila Lapanja and Katie Hensien after their press scrum - those interviews will be posted later tonight if I can transcribe them.

I also asked Mike Salomano (GM of Killington) about whether the resort plans to pursue these races going forward. He said that they should be back next year, and hopes to make Killington a perennial stop on the World Cup tour. The Killington events draw the largest crowd of any women's World Cup race, which is a surprising statistic - though one that doesn't really shock if you've seen the crowd on-site.
 

Brian Finch

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OK, first quick report from The Evening Before™:

The athletes are really stoked about the snow conditions, although Tessa Worley (FRA) was not as pleased with the unseasonably cold weather (and it was a bit brisk on the mountain today, aleit very sunny with great snow cover - best early New England skiing in many years).
.
I spent the morning hot lapping Cascades & Highline off the gondola ripping medium to long radius stuff. The surfaces only got better as they go skied off. Huge leverage grip.
 
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Rudi Riet

Rudi Riet

AKA songfta AKA randomduck - a USSA coach, as well
Contributor
Posts
390
Location
Washington, DC
In the press conference:

Federica Brignone
Mikaela Shiffrin
Wendy Holdener (of the six stitches required after a slalom gate made its way under her chin guard during training)
Tessa Worley

The last picture is from my interview with Lila Lapanja. Said interview will be up later today - running on fumes isn't good for transcribing audio. ;-)
 

skix

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...
Killington looking amazing on TV on race morning. Piles of snow on every tree up top.

Watching on NBC Gold live for the first time ... why are the announcers yelling at me? Their tone seems more appropriate to pro-wrestling than giant slalom.
 
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Rudi Riet

Rudi Riet

AKA songfta AKA randomduck - a USSA coach, as well
Contributor
Posts
390
Location
Washington, DC
Wow Killington conditions look like winter.
They are winter! Really great snow cover for Thanksgiving, between 14 and 24" of natural all over the mountain. Not all of it is open, mind you, but much of it is very close. Once Skye Peak is freed from World Cup duty, things should roll nicely from there.

First run report coming shortly...
 

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