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Men's U.S. Ski Team Wraps Up Big Weekend in Italy

Cochran-Siegle earned his first career World Cup podium in the downhill and Ford finished fifth in giant slalom.

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The men of the U.S. Ski Team had a breakthrough weekend in Italy, with three racers finishing in the Top 10 in Saturday’s downhill in Val Gardena and four finishing with World Cup points in Sunday’s giant slalom in Alta Badia.

Cochran-Siegle Second in Downhill

Ryan Cochran-Siegle skiing in 2020 Val Gardena World Cup downhill
Vermont’s Ryan Cochran-Siegle in the 2020 Val Gardena downhill.Photo: Getty Images

The highlight of the weekend was Vermont’s Ryan Cochran-Siegle standing on his first FIS World Cup podium with a second-place finish in Saturday’s Val Gardena downhill. Cochran-Siegle’s teammates Bryce Bennett and Jared Goldberg also finished in the Top 10, landing in fourth and sixth place, respectively. This is the first time an American man has stood on a FIS World Cup speed-event podium since 2017.

“Coming here, I didn’t think this would be a hill I should worry too much about,” Cochran-Siegle told U.S. Ski and Snowboard after the race. “That way it made it easy. This isn’t a hill I should do well—it’s such a gliding hill. I just focused on the skiing and it allowed me to perform well.”

Watch: Cochran-Siegle’s Second-Place Downhill Run at Val Gardena

Video not displaying correctly? Watch it here.

Norwegian Aleskander Aamodt Kilde won Saturday’s race, finishing 0.22 seconds ahead of Cochran-Siegle. Switzerland’s downhill specialist Beat Feuz rounded out the podium, 0.54 seconds behind Kilde.

2020 Val Gardena World Cup Downhill Podium
Cochran-Siegle (left) standing on his first FIS World Cup podium.Photo: Getty Images

Bryce Bennett’s fourth place is his best result since 2018, when he finished fourth on the same track in Val Gardena and in Bormio. Goldberg’s sixth-place is also his best FIS World Cup finish to date.

“I keep getting the wooden spoon here—the old fourth place—and I’m getting pretty over it!” Bennett joked according to the U.S. Ski Team. “One of these days it’ll happen. I’m feeling better skiing and more comfortable.”

Ford Fifth in Alta Badia Giant Slalom

Tommy Ford 2020 Alta Badia World Cup GS
Tommy Ford takes on the Alta Badia GS.Photo: Getty Images

American Tommy Ford earned his third Top 10 GS result of the season with a fifth-place finish in Alta Badia on Sunday. The skier from Mt. Bachelor had a rocky start, landing in 14th position after the first run, but made some solid adjustments and moved up nine spots after his second and final run of the day.

“First run, I didn’t quite have the fire and made a better adjustment second run and allowed that to come out,” Ford said, according to the U.S. Ski Team’s website. “I was a bit round and had a hard time finding the rhythm [in the] first run, but [in the] second run, I was more in the fall line and hitting with more power and burned all the way through the finish.”

France’s Alexis Pinturault won the event with an exciting second run, finishing 0.41 seconds ahead of Ford and only 0.07 seconds ahead of Norway’s Atle Lie McGrath, who was second. Switzerland’s Justin Murisier was in third place, 0.24 seconds behind Pinturault.

Video: Alexis Pinturault Wins Alta Badia GS

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Ford was one of four U.S. Ski Team men to finish in the Top 30 in Alta Badia. River Radamus, from Colorado, finished 20th overall, his best FIS World Cup GS finish to date. Ted Ligety finished in 26th, and Ryan Cochran-Siegle rounded out the American men who earned points in 29th.

The long weekend of racing in Italy isn’t over yet, as there are night slalom races scheduled in Madonna di Campiglio on Tuesday, Dec. 22. Find out how to watch on the U.S. Ski Team’s website