Stage set for thrilling Birds of Prey
Marco Sullivan of the United States, speeds down the course during a training run for the men’s World Cup downhill ski race in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Nathan Bilow)
BEAVER CREEK, CO (Nov. 29) – Times are dropping and energy is building in Beaver Creek in anticipation of Friday’s Audi Birds of Prey downhill featuring Lake Louise podium finisher Marco Sullivan and a recharged men’s U.S. speed team. Athletes and coaches across the board have lauded the Birds of Prey organizing committee and the 200 plus volunteer members of the course prepping Talon Crew for producing what is being called the “world standard” for Audi FIS Alpine World Cup downhill. The marquee alpine weekend will be featured with the best television broadcast package in history including live coverage on USSkiteam.com and NBC Sports Network.
• The stage is set for a thrilling weekend of men’s Audi FIS Alpine World Cup racing during the Nov. 30-Dec. 2 Audi Birds of Prey races.
• NBC will broadcast the downhill on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET followed by live coverage of men’s giant slalom on NBC Sports Network (former Versus) beginning at 2:35 p.m. ET. Saturday’s super G air live on Universal Sports and at USSkiTeam.com at 1 p.m. ET.
• The Nov. 30 marquee downhill will feature Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA), Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA), Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY), Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT), Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, VT), Wiley Maple (Aspen, CO) and Tommy Biesemeyer (Keene, NY).
• Action continues Dec. 1 with super G featuring Sullivan, Ligety, Ganong, Weibrecht, Cochran-Siegle, Biesemeyer, Jared Goldberg (Holladay, UT) and Brennan Rubie (Salt Lake City, UT). It will be the first World Cup start for Rubie.
• The weekend closes Dec. 2 with giant slalom as Ligety looks to continue the momentum he gained from the historic 2.75 second victory he posted in the season opener in Soelden, Austria. Additional men’s GS starters include Tim Jitloff (Reno, NV), Robby Kelley (Starksboro, VT), and Tommy Ford (Bend, OR) and two additional starters to be named later.
• The complete Audi Birds of Prey schedule is available at http://www.bcworldcup.com.
I heard a story that at the coach’s meeting (Tuesday) night, (Chief World Cup Race Director for the men) Gunter Hujara got up and said this is how every World Cup track should be prepared, and a couple other Italian and European coaches got up and said that’s absolutely true. I stand by that statement.
I would definitely say, as far as preparation, it is year in, year out, the standard for snow and just overall course preparation. It really doesn’t get any better and I’ve got a lot of respect for the volunteers and the staff that do the work to make this happen because it is far above and beyond any other venue that we ski on.
The snow conditions are the best in my memory. This is my fourth year here and this is the quickest the snow’s been. The speed coming off the bottom here off of Harrier Jump and Red Tail Jump, we’re going really fast. You can feel the speed down here. It’s such a pleasure to race on a surface as perfect as this.
Saturday, Dec. 1
1:00 p.m. – Audi Birds of Prey super G, Beaver Creek – Universal Sports (USSkiTeam.com)
Sunday, Dec. 2
1:00 p.m. – Audi Birds of Prey downhill, Beaver Creek – NBC
2:00 p.m. – Audi Birds of Prey super G, Beaver Creek – NBC Sports Network (former Versus)
2:35 p.m. – Audi Birds of Prey giant slalom, Beaver Creek – NBC Sports Network (former Versus)