Travis Ganong cut through fog, rain and bumpy snow to land the first Audi FIS Alpine World Cup podium of his career with third in Kvitfjell, Norway. (Getty Images/AFP - Daniel Sannum Lauten)
KVITJELL, Norway (Feb. 28) - Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA) knifed through rugged snow and limited visibility Friday to earn the first Audi FIS Alpine World Cup podium finish of his career with third in the first of two Kvitfjell downhills. Fresh off what was a career-best fifth at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games downhill in Sochi, Ganong wiped his goggles mid run as rain and wet snow pelted the fog-shortned course. Olympic super G champion Kjetil Jansrud of Norway and Austrian Georg Streitberger tied for a unique victory. Universal Sports Network will broadcast the race at 11 a.m. ET.
Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA) produced the first Audi FIS Alpine World Cup podium of his young career with third in the first of two downhills set for Kvitfjell, Norway.
Thick fog shortened the race by 40 seconds and forced the jury to run the one and only training run three hours before the race time.
Ganong wiped his goggles mid run as rain and later wet snow pelted the already bumpy snow throughout the day.
Ganong, who was also third in the morning training run, entered the race after producing what was then a career-best fifth in the Olympic downhill.
Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud and Georg Streitberger of Austria produced a rare tie for the win in 1:05.72. Ganong was just .12 off their pace as one second separated the top 28 finishers.
Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) finished 16th, Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) 18th and Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA) 21st for three other Americans in the top 30.
The race was originally slated for Feb. 1 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, but was then moved to St. Moritz, Switzerland and ultimately canceled by fog in St. Moritz.
A second downhill is scheduled for Saturday in Kvitfjell followed by a super G on Sunday.
Ganong's hometown of Squaw Valley, CA will host the 2014 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships March 19-23.
Universal Sports Network will broadcast the race at 11 a.m. ET.
QUOTES Travis Ganong This is a really big step in my career. I've been slowly building up the last four years on the World Cup tour and this last month or so I've really been finding some speed. Now I'm at a point where I'm really relaxed and having fun. The good skiing comes out when you're relaxed and letting the skis roll.
I always told myself I'd get to this point. It was just a matter of time. I've had enough time now racing all these hills and I'm comfortable. I'm also stronger than I was last year and I'm more fit. I'm not burnt out at all. Usually at this time of year people are tired and right now I feel like I'm just starting out the season.
When I went it was raining and I had to do a goggle wipe halfway down the hill. But on days like today it's tough, you've just got to forget about the weather and just ski. You can't really see anything, so you just have to put your head down and ski.
I'm obviously happy we raced today. It was foggy with pretty soft snow, but the conditions were really challenging – it was a World Cup caliber race – the terrain was bumpy and the snow was variable. You had to push and ski well to win.
We had a new trainer this summer – Tony Beretzki from Austria – he totally revitalized our conditioning plan and we worked way harder this last summer than we've ever done before. Now within the season, we're able to lift and ski more, generally do more work and build throughout the season rather than maintain.
Tommy Moe won here and Daron Rahlves won here and hopefully I can bring it back to the U.S. with a win tomorrow.
I grew up in Lake Tahoe, California and skiing at Squaw Valley – the same place as Julia Mancuso, Marco Sullivan and Daron Rahlves. Growing up there you have passion for skiing, it's embedded in our culture. I would even be out there on rainy days like today, just having a great time. You have to love skiing to be able to perform in conditions like we had today. I love skiing.