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US Alpine Team Has Nice Start In Austria, Looks Forward To 2019-2020 Season

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The US Ski & Snowboard Alpine season opened in Europe last weekend.

Tiger Shaw CEO of US Ski & Snowboard reports that the U.S. Alpine ski team opened the first World Cup race in Sölden, Austria. Mikaela Shiffrin had the top finish for the US. Ending in 2nd behind a 17-year-old from New Zealand.

“Sölden is such an amazing hill,” Shaw explained. “It's the first race of the season. We had a great event and Mikaela was super excited about her skiing. She was consistent both runs, superfast. Alice Robinson from New Zealand 17-year-old who's now the most recent person to win a World Cup at age 17, she is coming on strong. Mikaela felt great, she had two great runs. She was just six hundredths behind, and anything can happen. So, Sölden is always the first race and nobody is quite sure how it's going to go and with Nina O’Brien also doing well making the flip and having great runs on, for the women, the toughest hill that they face all season”

Tommy Ford led the way for the US men’s team finishing 4th. Right behind him was Park City’s own Ted Ligety in 5th, while Ryan Cochran-Siegle finished 11th.

“Tommy had a fabulous day in 4th and Ted had an incredible day in 5th too,” Shaw said. “Ted’s won there four times; he holds the record there. He's had a tougher time with the Hill the last few years and to come back now and have a solid 5th place finish and Ryan Cochran-Siegle in 11th. The men had a great day.”

Shaw confirmed that Ligety will be focused solely on Giant Slalom events this year.

“Not try to do the combined or the Super G,” Shaw continued. “That should allow him to even further dial in his giant slalom skiing. He’s been through a lot of injuries, he's in great shape now. He had a great Fall, and this has got to be quite a confidence builder for him. Fifth place is not so far away from third, which is not so far away from winning.”

AJ Hurt, Keely Cashman, Brian McLaughlin and River Radamus also skied at Soelden, although they didn’t make the top 30, Shaw said they also skied well.

“You have to remember that's really one of the toughest hills all year,” Shaw explained. “If you do well in Sölden that's a great harbinger for the rest of the season, that means you're doing well. If you don't do well in Sölden that doesn't mean that you can't come roaring back in less than a month later.”

Shaw says the rest of the US Ski & Snowboard teams will begin their seasons in earnest in late November. For more information about events and results you can visit here.

KPCW reporter David Boyle covers all things in the Heber Valley as well as sports and breaking news.
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