Vail’s Radamus ready for super-G at Birds of Prey World Cup races
BEAVER CREEK — On Wednesday, Nov. 28, the U.S. Ski Team wasn’t ready to give absolute confirmation that River Radamus will be racing super-G on Friday, but Radamus was training downhill.
And after that training session, he said he’s feeling up for super-G.
“I’m definitely not where I need to be to race yet, but it’s fun to duke it out with those boys and see what’s possible,” Radamus said from the bottom of the Birds of Prey track on Wednesday. “I’ve put myself in a situation where I think I can succeed, but I don’t think this is the make-or-break year for me. I’m just trusting the process.”
Radamus received his first-ever World Cup start at last year’s Birds of Prey giant slalom, where he missed qualifying for the second run by less than 0.2 seconds.
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For this season, Radamus has been partnered up with teammate Luke Winters, who is also expected to get a first start at Birds of Prey this weekend in Sunday’s giant slalom. Winters wasn’t available for comment Wednesday, but Radamus said Winters and he have had good training in recent months with coach Martin Andersen.
“I couldn’t have chosen a better person to be roommates with for months on end,” Radamus said of Winters. “He’s a real hard worker, a great skier and we’re really pushing each other right now. We’re really motivated right now to make sure the U.S. tech team and super-G team is thriving for years to come.”
‘YOU HAVE TO LOOK Out Five years’
Another young gun, 22-year-old Sam Morse, also enjoyed his first start at the Birds of Prey races last season.
On Wednesday, he was racing for a spot against the rest of the team.
“Everyone’s healthy this year,” Morse said. “We only have so many spots, so we’re racing against each other.”
With six athletes on the team all born in 1996-97, Morse said it has been a competitive among athletes his age.
“On the speed side, it takes so long. You have to look out five years,” Morse said. “But we have a lot of legends to look up to.”
BRIDGING THE GAP
Ryan Cochran-Siegle, at age 26, is bridging the gap between the young guns and the legends.
Cochran-Siegle said he thinks this may be his year.
“Since last year, I feel a little more timeliness to really send it, to try to put myself beyond where I am to keep progressing,” he said. “I’m trying to get to the top level and be one of the best American ski racers on the circuit, which is where I believe I can be.”
Cochran-Siegle was the top finishing American in the super-G in Lake Louise, Alberta, last weekend, so he’s off to a good start.
“Lake Louise was split with guys that did well and guys that left a lot out there and trying to get everyone back on the same page for this race, so we can all perform well, is key,” Cochran-Siegle said.
Radamus, who grew up in Eagle County and raced for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, said first and foremost, the team goal for this weekend is to give the home crowd something to cheer for.
“But at the end of the day I don’t feel a lot of pressure to perform,” he said. “We’re really pushing and we’re all really motivated to carry on the team’s legacy here at Beaver Creek for years to come.”
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The Italian ended Mikaela Shiffrin’s three-year reign as overall World Cup champion.