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Cochran 22nd in SL; Course Devours Racers


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December 3, 2006

BEAVER CREEK, CO – (USST News Bureau Release) – Jimmy Cochran (Keene, NH) out-fought a tough second World Cup slalom course Sunday to hold onto 22nd place in the Rauch Men’s Slalom which ended the VISA Birds of Prey races. Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), second in the first run, got thrown out early in the final run while Bode Miller (Bretton Woods, NH) missed a gate in the morning. Sweden’s Andre Myhrer won his first World Cup race in 1:48.60 with Canadian Michael Janyk, responding to a vocal delegation in the stands, finishing second (1:49.33). Versus, formerly OLN will televise coverage Dec. 17 at 6 p.m. ET.

Cochran had a two-run time of 1:53.29. The first SL course chewed through 31 skiers who didn’t finish, while eight of the final 30 went out on the final run in the 15-degree sunshine.

“I wish I were skiing better. It’s tough to feel good – even with World Cup points – when I skied this badly,” Cochran said. He scored points in three of the four VISA races, finishing 27th in the super combined Thursday and 28th Saturday in the Sirius Satellite Radio giant slalom.

Second run was especially challenging

“There wasn’t much flow in that second run. It was pretty tight and tough to get into a rhythm…especially when I make a big mistake like I did,” Cochran said.

However, he was happy to be in the same race with two cousins, who are part of the second wave of “Skiing Cochrans,” B Team racer Roger Brown (Norwich, VT) and C Team skier Tim Kelley (Starksboro, VT). Brown, the son of Marilyn Cochran, and Kelley, the son of Lindy Cochran Kelley, were launched off course in the same spot during the first run. Parents of all three were in the enthusiastic crowd of an estimated 5,000 spectators.

“Roger and Tim skied well even if they didn’t finish; they’re getting there,” Cochran said. “It’s all part of the learning curve. We’ve all gone through it.” The race was Brown’s third World Cup event and Kelley’s World Cup debut.

Ligety, who was third Saturday in GS, was disappointed in getting thrown just seven or eight gates into the second run. “I don’t ever like to go out, but that’s also part of ski racing, especially slalom,” he reasoned.

He had his broken right hand X-rayed Saturday night and said he was getting a further medical exam Sunday night. It still bothers him in slalom because of the trouble in pole plants with his right hand, he said, but not in any other events.

Slalom could make McNichol hairless

Head Coach Phil McNichol shook his head, noting, “Maybe we used up our good fortune earlier in the week, but it was a disappointing end to another outstanding week in Beaver Creek. We get these great crowds – and another one today – and these awesome snow conditions…and then sometimes slalom just leaves me pulling my hair out.

“But we focus on the positive, and this definitely was another great trip to Beaver Creek. We have some really good momentum now – our first win, our first podiums of the season (Miller winning downhill with Steve Nyman third, and Ligety third in GS) – and we want to keep it rolling,” McNichol said.

The next men’s race is a super combined next Sunday at Reiteralm, Austria. The race – which will match a super G (instead of a downhill) with a one-run slalom – has been moved from Val d’Isere, France, because of poor snow conditions.

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