Men’s downhill returns to Aspen Mountain for first training run
Vincent Kriechmayr of Austria registered the fastest training time Monday morning as the men’s World Cup returned to the Aspen Mountain course for the first time since 1995.
Under clear skies and mild temperatures, Kriechmayer ran the 2,859-meter course in 1 minutes, 34.58 seconds, just ahead of Italy’s Peter Fill, who is second in the downhill standings. Fill ran the course in 1:34.84.
The men’s downhill season title is down to Kjetil Jansrud of Norway and Fill. Jansrud, who has a 33-point lead on Fill, finished in 1:36.59, which was 15th best Monday.
American Travis Ganong of Squaw Valley is back on the course since racing a Nor-Am here six years ago, kind of his coming out party. The course he said Monday was a lot different than what he’s been racing on.
“The last month on the World Cup, we’ve been skiing on ice a lot. Now we’re back to full on grippy, dry winter snow on top and kind of transition to spring on the bottom a little, but it’s so aggressive and so grippy,” Ganong said. “It’s like night and day to what we’ve been skiing on in Europe.”
The 1995 World Cup men’s dowhill race was canceled because of course conditions, but American A.J. Kitt was leading when it was stopped. The last official men’s downhill winner in Aspen was Canadian Cary Mullen in March 1994.
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Many members of the community wrote to laud the former Skico executive and city councilman for his friendship, dedication to family and community-minded spirit over more than two decades in Aspen.