February 6, 2007
ARE, Sweden (USST Press Release)—Steven Nyman (Provo, UT) survived stepping on his ski in mid-race to finish 12th Tuesday in super G as the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships opened in sunshine and biting cold. Defending champion Bode Miller (Bretton Woods, NH) was 24th.
U.S. fans can follow World Championships coverage live. NBCSports.com and MediaZone.com will team up for live coverage of every race during the World Championships, which run until Feb. 18 in Are. In addition, live interval timing is available at http://livetiming.usskiteam.com.
The race originally was to have begun the men's schedule Saturday, but high winds and snow Saturday and again Monday forced two postponements. Tuesday, it began on schedule in six-degree (F.) weather.
Italy's Patrick Staudacher was the surprise winner in 1:14.30 on a 1.82K course, which began from a lowered start. Nyman's time was 1:15.20 with Miller finishing in 1:15.64.
Scott Macartney (Redmond, WA), who was named to replace Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA) when he suffered a strained muscle, and Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) tied for 31st with T.J. Lanning (also Park City) 34th.
Taking chances hurt Miller's title defense
Miller, running 29th, called it "a very challenging course" and said he hurt his chances to defend his title from the 2005 championships "because I was taking too many risks."He was 0.12 back at the first interval and never got closer.
"The slope was actually pretty good. I had a very small chance of winning," Miller said.
"That's how racing goes. I risked it all and I lost."
On a sharp, righthand turn where the course went from pointing downhill to a cutting side-hill for one vital gate, Nyman appeared to slide his right ski atop his left but quickly righted himself and kept attacking.
With the weather so poor, the athletes never got to train on the course. After training slalom Monday in preparation for Thursday's super combined, Nyman said with a smile that he was a little surprised to find he remembered how to turn.[pagebreak]Nyman says cold dried out snow
"Everything turned out really well today. The cold temperatures (during the night) just sucked the moisture out of the snow and we had an excellent surface," Nyman said, adding, "It was probably was fair a race as you could get...
"The top was awesome and the bottom was awesome but that little bit in the middle (with some side-hill) was my one little mistake. ... We haven't trained in a while and it's tough to get that feeling back" but the winner of a downhill in Val Gardena, Italy, before Christmas said he was pointing to Saturday's downhill.
Head Coach Phil McNichol said, "Steven had a good race, a good start for him but, on the whole, the guys skied under what they can do. They're capable of a lot more, so we have to pick things up from here.
"Bode had a couple of small mistakes at the top and had a bigger one at the bottom, and in super G there's just no room for any of that," McNichol said.
The men train downhill Wednesday and race super combined - a downhill plus one run of slalom - Thursday.
2007 FIS ALPINE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Are, SWE - Feb. 6, 2007
Men's Super G
1. Patrick Staudacher, Italy, 1:14.30
2. Fritz Strobl, Austria, 1:14.62.
3. Bruno Kernen, Switzerland, 1:14.92
4. (tie) Didier Cuche, Switzerland, and Christoph Gruber, Austria, 1:14.93 each
12. Steven Nyman, Provo, UT, 1:15.20
24. Bode Miller, Bretton Woods, NH, 1:15.64
31. (tie) Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) and Scott Macartney, Redmond, WA, 1:15.98 each
34. T.J. Lanniing, Park City, UT, 1:16.16