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World Cup 06-07

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Who is going to be racking up the wins on the World Cup scene this year? Can Bode return to his form of 2 years ago? Will Ted Ligety continue last years success?
post #2 of 21
My bet? The Austrians. I could be wrong, though.

I think if Bode goes with the goal of winning globes in all disciplines and trains with that in mind, he'll start winning more. I'd love to see him take the DH globe. The slalom globe might be a little beyond him right now unless he focuses solely on it, which is something I don't see him doing.

Ted is still maturing, but I bet we see him as more of a multi-event threat as time goes on. The team certainly seems to be trying to develop those kinds of racers.
post #3 of 21

As a team...

...I also gotta go with the Austrians, if for no other reason than no more Daron. Slalom's a high-risk sport, but Ligety looks so fundamentally sound even when he's hanging it out that I'm predicting wins for him this year...meaning more than 1.

I don't have the inside track on Bode, but my sense is that he's gonna be more settled this year than last, and I think he's got some new goals that'll help get him back on the winning track...not that he didn't win last year. It's easy to forget that, in a "bad" year, he still wound up 3rd in the WC overall.

I don't have any specific names, but I think you're gonna also see a bunch of new young Americans breaking through. I think the attitude now has to be "Wow...Ligety went from zero to Olympic Gold last year...who's to say I can't do the same?"
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
I hope Bode has a better year. I really like him and I he got a lot of trash from the media and had a lot of pressure on himself right before the Olympics.
post #5 of 21

Americans I

Here are a few thoughts on the Americans to look for. I've listed the top racers, in order of where they stand worldwide, on the basis of FIS points, in their best event. Using FIS pts is a little more informative, I think, since once you get out of the very top people, the WC points are scattered and a little random. There's not a lot of difference in where the top people stand based on FIS vs. WC points anyway. I may not have the totally most current FIS pts list (with summer races), but it shouldn't be a lot different.

I'm not a journalist or anything, so if anyone notices any facts (or opinions, for that matter) I've got wrong, feel free to post a correction or rebuttal.

The Ladies
Lindsey Kildow (2nd DH, 3rd SG, 8th SL, 210th GS)
With Dorfmeister's retirement, she starts the season as the world's #1 female downhiller, both based on the FIS pts list and last year's WC campaign. Pretty heady place to be. Plus, she has the stuff to be a real all-rounder: just look at her slalom results. Somewhat bizarrely, her GS was a bit lackluster (she was 49th in the WC standings). I've got to figure they're working on that this summer, particularly since it's a weak event for the US women across the board (with one exception). She's already one of the biggest and physically strongest women racers, and that's likely to be more the case this year. She's just 22 and, from what little I know, she's focused and a hard worker. If anything, the disappointment at the Olympics may fuel her. I don't know that she's going to pass that little Swede in the overall standings (particularly since Paerson improved last year in speed), but she'll be a favorite in speed events and could be an overall contender. Especially, but not only, if Kostelic sits out.

Julia Mancuso (6th SG, 9th GS, 12th DH, 23rd SL)
The quintessential big-race skier. She came into her own around the Olympics, though, with some big results in ordinary WC races. IMHO, she may have more raw skiing talent (though less physical might) than Kildow, but isn't as intense. Like Kildow, Mancuso are still only 22, which is an age at which ski racers typically are still improving. Shoot, Dorfmeister was more than a decade older.

Kirsten Clark (8th SG, 21st DH, 254th GS)
At 29, she's the USST's senior female now. Last season was a good return to form after injuries. She could improve her DH performance this year.

Libby Ludlow (11th SG, 101st GS, 105th DH)
Another in the solid roster of US speed skiers, though a little different. As speed specialists go, she's tiny. She's at a big disadvantage in the non-technical SGs (like at the Olympics) and pretty much all the women's DHs, which tend to be gliding races more than on the men's side. She was a very consistent and improving SG racer last year, after a multi-year slog through a series of injuries. She's a classic example of someone who doesn't fit the usual speed/technical division: she really straddles it, as she has the stuff to excel in GS and SG. If (as would seem smart) the team has put some focus on GS, I'd hope to see her break through in that event this year. She is a former national champion in the event, after all. Like Kildow, she has an intense focus and super discipline, and should do well if her knees hold together.

Resi Stiegler (15th SL, 63rd SG, 90th DH (51st in WC standings), 202nd GS)
At just 20, with all-around skills and a solid-gold pedigree, she may be the "next big thing" for the Americans. Her results from last year are depressed by injuries. If she's healthy this year, I'd expect big improvements. She's got a good shot to take over the spot of top US SL skier, at least, and perhaps be a Combined, or even overall, threat in time.

[Kristina Koznick (15th SL, 29th GS, 129th SG) - Retired]
[Sarah Schleper (24th SL, 31st GS, 173rd SG) - I believe she's sitting out a season, and considering retirement.]

Caroline Lalive (26th DH, 31st SG, 162nd GS)
Recovering from the just-pre-Olympic injury that kept her out of the games. At 27, she's not old, though she's been on the US team for the athletic equivalent of forever. She's another injury-plagued racer, and her results have always been more a series of very bright spots, rather than consistently solid.

Stacey Cook (28th DH, 37th SG, 62nd GS)
Opened last season with stunningly good results at Lake Louise, then was solid but not stunning the rest of the year. I don't know if that's because she's a super-glider, or likes cold weather, or maybe just needs a little more seasoning (she's another 22-year-old) to adjust to the travelling and demands of the World Cup.

Kaylin Richardson (38th SL, 59th GS, 102nd DH, 103rd SG)
Only the second technical specialist on this list! And Stiegler might be considered an all-rounder. There are some more below, though, and they're all young. Richardson is yet another 22-year-old (was there something in the water in 1984?), and another Minnesotan, like Koznick.

Jessica Kelley (45th GS, 97th SL)
A Cochran (out of Lindy, I think?)

Jenny Lathrop (48th SL)

Caitlin Ciccone (51st SL, 93rd GS, 120th SG, 140th DH)
She may be better than her points. National GS champ. Possibly another all-rounder. 21 years old.

Sterling Grant (51st SL)
Just 19.

Kristen Mielke (54th)
GS specialist. I think she trains outside the USST system in some manner.

Katharine Hitchcock (57th SL)
21 years old.

Julia Littman (70th DH)
Yet another 1984 kid.

Bryna McCarty (70th SG, 103rd DH)
Got some WC seasoning, and a few SG points, last year. 23.

[Jonna Mendes (74th DH, 77th SG) Retired]

Keely Kelleher (79th GS, 112th SG)

Lauren Ross (82nd SL, 86th GS)
WC points in SL.

Megan McJames (82nd GS, 84th SG, 96th DH)
Only 19, and a potential all-round racer.
post #6 of 21

Americans II

The Dudes

With one glaring exception, this gender is quite a bit lighter in young phenoms than the females. Men do tend to come into their own later (and last longer), but there are a lot of US men in their late 20s (plus).

[Daron Rahlves (3rd DH, 4th SG, 13th GS) Retired, amid well-deserved fanfare]

Ted Ligety (4th SL, 14th GS, 122nd DH ... oh, and 642nd SG)
Yeah, that's right. In terms of overall ranking in best event, he's the top US ski racer, and that's true for FIS points and WC points. He's 22. He's easy-going, and apparently free of agendas and postures. He doesn't consider himself a technical specialist, but a nascent all-rounder. Watch this guy.

Bode Miller (5th DH, 9th GS, 12th SG, 64th SL)
I think I read something about him in a magazine or someplace. I can't remember what it was. Anyway ... as the Olympic hype fades into the past and the media become more interested in Paris Hilton again, I figure he's got to get more focused and more successful.

Scott Macartney (10th SG, 29th DH)
Speed specialist; low profile; Northwesterner. Last year was a good one for him. No reason he shouldn't do even better this year.

Erik Schlopy (15th GS, 114th SL)
Yes, he's still alive. And he's still racing.

Steve Nyman (27th DH, 99th SG)
First real youngster on the list, other than Ligety. Another speed specialist. Made huge strides last year.

Dane Spencer (31st GS, 125th SG)
Coming off a really bad DH injury in a NorAm race. This season was initially thought out of the question, but I think I saw something that said he might re-appear at some point.

Jimmy Cochran (36th SL, 43rd GS)

Justin Johnson (38th DH, 91st GS)
No offense if you're a fan - and I'm sure he's a great guy - but at 29, I think he's on the downside of his career.

Jake Zamansky (44th GS, 71st SL)

Erik Fisher (45th DH, 71st SG)
21 years old.

Marco Sullivan (54th DH)
World Cup success beyond his FIS points: 31st in DH standings, 39th in SG.

Chris Beckman (63rd DH)
He's most likely to be the big new, young "name," if not this season, in a few. Second in world junior DH. He's only 20, and male speed skiers don't reach their full potential for years after that.

Bryon Friedman (63rd DH)
I haven't been following his injury condition. He was just breaking through season-before-last (8th at Beaver Creek, if I remember correctly), when he broke his leg instead. And I mean really broke it. If medical science brings hime back strong, he'll be one the elite US DHers.

Tom Rothrock (64th SL, 80th GS)
Not sure what to expect. He's 28 and, I think, recently married. It doesn't take a ton of money or fame to live comfortably in Wenatchee (or Cashmere, or wherever around there he's from).

Roger Brown (70th SL, 111th GS)
Another Cochran (out of Marilyn, I believe). He's 24, and one of the scads of Dartmouth students or alumni. He might have potential to break through.

Now we start to get into the younger guys:

TJ Lanning (71st GS, 90th SG, 144th DH)
Only 22, and has been slowed by injuries. May see something from him.

Kevin Francis (79th SG, 116th DH)
24. Dartmouth

Andrew Weibrecht (82nd SG, 139th DH)
Only 20. Dartmouth.

Paul McDonald (85th SL, 164th GS)
Got a little WC seasoning in slalom, but then had injury problems last year. Still only 22. Dartmoth, yet again.

Warner Nickerson (89th GS, 97th SL, 98th SG, 125th DH)

Chip Knight (91st SL, 119th GS)
Okay, he's not young. Yes, he's still around, and apparently he's not retiring. His WC results are much better than his FIS (36th SL, 42nd GS). At 31, is he likely suddenly to get much better? Uh, I'll get back to you on that.

Tim Kelley (118th SL)
Yep, Another Cochran. 20 years old.

Evan Weiss (127th SL, 180th GS)
22. Dartmouth, again. I used to work with his father.

Jeremy Transue (134th DH, 204th GS, 228th SG)
23 years old.

Drew Roberts (145th SL)

Tim Jitloff (185th SL)
post #7 of 21
As ever, a most informative ski-racing post from sjjohnston.
Originally Posted by sjjohnston View Post
I'm not a journalist or anything,
Perhaps you should think about changing careers!
post #8 of 21


...what about Phil Mahre?
post #9 of 21


OK... I'll bite on this one... Some guesses follow:

For the women..
Gotta go with Lindsey for the DH title, with an outside shot at the overall if she can bring her GS results up. I agree that its puzzling how she can be so good at SG and SL, but have such different GS results. (Maybe she needs a set-up change on her GS equipment?) I'm a Lindsey fan not just 'cause she spent 20 minutes with our race team kids at Nationals while she ached -- big time -- from a fall, but because she has amazing talent and focus. If only Bode would spend a summer training with her. (That train-like-crazy-for-six-weeks thing.. I ain't buying it as the ideal methodology.)

For big "move-ups" I'll pick Julia (top 10 in DH, SG and GS) and Caitlin (top 30 in SL, top 50 in GS).

For the globes, just big move ups.

Bryon Friedman. Bones heal - even bad breaks. He was amazing before his injury. I'll venture he cracks into the top 30 DH by late season.
Jeremy Transue. He sat out a good amount of time recovering from a knee injury. Now he's healthy and ready. Top 75 in DH.
Bode? Yeah, he'll be a factor. Highly likely to be in the top 5 in the overall. But Benny will the best again this year. Plus, Bode has new rigs, so that will take some adjustment.

Oh... I should also caution everyone that I'm also a Redsox fan. So, take my predictions with a large grain of salt.
post #10 of 21

The Canadians!

Thomas Grandi - Last year was a great one for Thomas. Altough he didn't win any races, he place second and third a whole bunch and was a great contender in both the slalom and GS, something he had never done. Altough he is starting to get a bit old, I wouldn't count him out - he will at least win one slalom race (he's probably the guy who saw the most improvement in this discipline on all the WC last season) and one GS. No globe tough, but top 3 in either GS or Slalom.

François Bourque - The guy won the first run of the Olympics in GS. At 21 and coming from a team, that 5 years ago, was solely focused on speed discipline at the higher levels on the men's side, so I expect him to place really well. GS is now probably his best disicipline, altough SG is also very, very, very promising for him. He's kind of our Svindal. I expect him to reach the podium at least once in SG and in GS.

Erik Guay - This guy WILL win DH races this season, and it'll probably be in Lake Louise or in Bormio. He'll also get on the podium at Kitzbuehl for certain. I'd be crazy enough to consider him for the DH globe, if it wasn't for Walchoefer.

J-P Roy: If it wasn't for injuries, JP would be a top tier athlete in both SL and GS... I expect him to bloom in two years and maybe get on the podium in 2008. Winning a run or placing in the top 20 overall in SL or GS is probable this year.

Mike Janik: Another strong technical guy who is in the same position as J-P: lots of talent and success, but not enough to pose a serious threat yet. Might be a surprise.

Patrick Biggs: Seeing this guy skis is like seeing a rock ski: solid, solid, solid. Still hasn't seen great results on the WC compared to the others, but is a strong wildcard anytime.Slalom specialist

John Kucera: Watch out for this youngster. Has moments of greatness and the skills to make it to the top. Speed specialist who excels in the DH. Also, our best hope for the KB.

Manuel Osborne-Paradis: Shows a lot of promise, but has had trouble with boots last season. Still, has had very good results in the DH training for the Olympics.

Spence, Cousineau and Erik's little brother: Too early to say anything. Spence and Cousineau will probably spend some more time on the WC circuit than last year but I don't expect Stephane Guay to race much on the WC. Still, he has the world junior GS title under his belt and is a safe bet for wins/podiums in 2-4 years.

All around, we have a great men squad, probably the best ACA has ever seen, with a lot of young guys hungry for success in all the disciplines, something that is unusual for us. Plus, we have one trusty veteran who has seen it all and has grinded his way to the top for over a decade, meaning that he'll be an inspiration to these younger athletes who strive to place. 2007 will be a great year for Canada, 2008 will probably be our best ever in all the disciplines and watch out for 2010.

The women squad, as always, is strong, but we probably won't have the Forsyth we used to have and a lot of girls have posted so-so results last year. Still, Simard (yes!), Vanderbeek (YES!!!!) and Acton are all on the rise, so it'll be interesting to see how all of this develops.
post #11 of 21
Ho yeah and the globes:
Overall: Raich
SL: Pallander (I have a feeling the Finn is ready to freaking explode and Rocca's run was something he will not repeat)
GS: Blardone
SG: Very much uncertain, altough I'd wager that Maier will win it.
DH: Wal
KB (will they have a globe for this this year?): Raich, altough Bode looks very promising, as does Ligety.

If Bode's slalom skis are good for his style and if he focuses a bit more on the discipline than last year, KB will be easy for him.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
sjjohnston- very impressive, you have done your research

billyray- i like your picks for the globes- i have a feeling bode will be back to his top game and may take a one (or more) home this year. He needs to get his consistency way up on the slalom if he wants to compete for the combined, but I think it's his to lose.
post #13 of 21
Watch Schlopy this year, he has THE best GS skiing in all the US team and even though he age is up there, he looks to explode this year.
Barring injuries, with his determination and more go for it attitude, things could get very interesting with him in GS.
Bode will better his results.
Ligety will be a sure threat in SL, and post some solid results in GS, his speed skiing is getting there too for good results.
Watch Scott Macartney his time is now.
post #14 of 21
Did you guys see any of Aksel Lund Svindal last season? That guy is going to quickly fill the enormous shoes Lasse Kjus finally vacated last year. The Herminator better watch out with Svindal chasing the SG globe. I don't think it would be a complete WC season if Aamodt didn't bag a podium or two.

Ligety is going to be a major force in slalom this year if he maintains half the momentum and consistency he built up last season. (The gold in the combined was really just icing on the cake, his world cup performance was phenomenal all year). He was winning splits and winning (second) runs all over the place. He demonstrated two keys to competitive slalom in my opinion: First, he showed the ability to lay down a competitive yet conservative first run and assure he actually gets a second run. Second, he showed the ability to crank it up, go balls out on the second run, and blow the doors off of guys like pallander and raich.

Agreed that Schlopy's GS is superb. If you saw beaver creek GS last year where the top four were bode, daron, pallander, and schlopy (with a broken hand from the first run) it was truly Schlopy at his full potential. Luckly I recorded it so I've been able to watch the US domination at the beav over and over and over during the long summer months. We can always hope that this will be a breakthrough year for him.

Cochran has shown that he can compete with Ligety in some races but just hasn't been able to put it all together on the world cup quite yet. Gotta hope his good results on the europa cup and a 6 point slalom in the noram cup late last spring will lower the old FIS points and give him a better starting bib than 65. Bode compared Cochran's GS form to Michael Von Grunigen's, which is quite a compliment.

US speed guys, bode and daron aside, got some good results here and there. Hopefully they build on this momentum since daron is gone.

I don't think Bode even knows what Bode will do. Hopefully he wins a few races by enormous margins complete with hand/hip dragging, arms flailing, and inhuman recoveries just to remind us that he is still the best in the world, just not the most consistent. Hopefully he dials his slalom in too. It's too bad that his slalom results have been nearly non-existent for two years. Hopefully his success in SG/DH wasn't too dependent on atomic gear and technicians.

This is too long and it's making me want to ski way too much.

Food time.
post #15 of 21
If Jimmy stays healthy in the long term, he's going to be a force on the World Cup sometime soon. Ted is getting his game down, and it's only a matter of time before he scores in multiple disciplines during the season. It kills me to say it, but Erik isn't getting any younger. However, when he's not injured he's incredible- so I wouldn't dare count him out.

I was running timing wiring and cutting grass/alder around the race hill today, so I guess I'm finding a productive way to channel all of this ski energy. I've already done major work to the race shack and repaired all of the gates, so all I need now is snow.
post #16 of 21

Go Canada!!!

Originally Posted by BillyRay View Post
Patrick Biggs: Seeing this guy skis is like seeing a rock ski: solid, solid, solid. Still hasn't seen great results on the WC compared to the others, but is a strong wildcard anytime.Slalom specialist

All around, we have a great men squad, probably the best ACA has ever seen, with a lot of young guys hungry for success in all the disciplines, something that is unusual for us.
Biggs is alot like Rothrock, great talent, wins runs in WC SL but hasn't put two together yet to take the gold. You didn't mention Ryan Semple, real unique style very talented technical skier. What happened to Nick Zoricic? Canadian men's tech team is similar to Swedish squad - super talented group of guys nipping at top tens just itching to win. What a change to have so much talent in tech. Glad I get CBUT so I can watch em. Would sure like to have TSN. Dusan Grasic is the man!

- Fossil
post #17 of 21
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55

I don't have any specific names, but I think you're gonna also see a bunch of new young Americans breaking through.
I so agree with you!! It´s great to see some talented US-Skiers joining the scene! :-)

And I really hope that Erik Schlopy will NOT break any bones this year! It would be cool to see him on the podium in Beaver!!! He so deserves it!!!
post #18 of 21

Now that the dust has settled...

Originally Posted by Barnstormer View Post
Did you guys see any of Aksel Lund Svindal last season? That guy is going to quickly fill the enormous shoes Lasse Kjus finally vacated last year.
Anybody else's predictions come true, false, or close? What a nail biter the overall was this year!
post #19 of 21
Ah.. not so good. But, it's fun to guess!

Said: Gotta go with Lindsey for the DH title, with an outside shot at the overall if she can bring her GS results up.
Actual: 3rd in the DH..she was looking good. Close, but no cigar. One wrong.

Said: Julia (top 10 in DH, SG and GS)
Actual: DH - 2; SG -4; GS - 4 One wrong; One right

Said: Caitlin (top 30 in SL, top 50 in GS).
Actual: 69 in SL; 61 in GS. Two wrong; One right.

Said: For the globes, just big move ups.
Actual: Bode did get the SG globe. Three wrong; One right.

Said: Bryon Friedman. Bones heal - even bad breaks. He was amazing before his injury. I'll venture he cracks into the top 30 DH by late season.
Actual: 35th. Four wrong; one right

Said:Jeremy Transue. He sat out a good amount of time recovering from a knee injury. Now he's healthy and ready. Top 75 in DH.
Actual: 116th. Five wrong; one right.

Said: Bode? Yeah, he'll be a factor. Highly likely to be in the top 5 in the overall.
Actual: 4th. Five wrong; two right.

Said: Benny will the best again this year.
Actual: Six wrong; two right.

I'm batting .250 Not terrible, but not that great.
post #20 of 21
good season all round for the tv viewer I thought...particularly liked the manner in which Svindal + esp. Cuche stepped upto the mark. Great to see someone work all their ski career for a big prize. Also some smart performaces from young guns over the pond...Nyman, Kucera, Guay...
post #21 of 21
Shameless nationalism here, but my favourite part of this season was definitely the Canadian team's performance this season. Really a breakout season IMO (at least for the men, the women were a little lacking really, although still had some great moments), they just need to keep it up til 2010. Tons of records set, tons of new medalists. Best part is that it's coming from across the team, and they're all young (oldest is Guay at 25).

The other nice surprise this season was Cuche. I think he really deserved the DH title - he was pretty much the definition of consistent in DH (and for that matter SG as well) this season. By my count in DH this season he was only out of the top 10 once, and out of the top 5 twice, and podiumed in more than half the DH races.
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