Aspen’s Wiley Maple second in Val Gardena DH training
SELVA DI VAL GARDENA, Italy — Americans Jared Goldberg and Wiley Maple placed 1-2 in the opening training session Wednesday for the classic Saslong downhill.
In a session run on a course that was shortened due to soft snow, Goldberg finished 0.47 seconds ahead of Maple.
Thomas Dressen of Germany placed third, 0.51 behind.
Steven Nyman, the American who has won this race three times, was 25th, while Norwegian favorites Kjetil Jansrud and Aksel Lund Svindal were 19th and 69th, respectively.
Goldberg has never finished a World Cup race in the top 10, with his best result being 11th in a super-combined in Kitzbuehel, Austria, in Jan. 2014. He also finished 11th in the super-combi at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
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Maple has never finished better than 17th in the World Cup.
Another training session is scheduled for Thursday, followed by a super-G race Friday, then the downhill race on Saturday.
Val Gardena opens the season of European classics that also include Wengen, Switzerland; Kitzbuehel, Austria; and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany — all of which have been World Cup stops since the 1960s.
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There was some fun post-game banter about maybe making a run at the Europa League crown, or at the very least a championship here in Colorado, but coaches and veteran players alike made sure the Aspen soccer team had its eyes aimed at a more reasonable goal, like making the playoffs.