Photo: Alexis Bouchard, Agence Zoom

Sarrazin wins second training run in advance of ’23 weekend races

By Cheryl Lindstrom

Beaver Creek, Colo., Nov. 29, 2023 — Cyprien Sarrazin of France improved his chances for a victory in the upcoming Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill by winning the second of two training runs today, finishing with a time of 1:38.09 minutes. Canadian James Crawford was second, .78 seconds back, while Niels Hintermann of Switzerland was third, at 1:04 minutes behind the leader.

Defending Xfinity Birds of Prey downhill champion Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) was fifth, at 1:20 behind Sarrazin. However, it’s common for racers not to go at full speed during training runs, and instead use them as an opportunity to test various aspects of their skiing and position on the course.

Isaiah Nelson of Stifel U.S. Ski Team navigates the Birds of Prey course Nov. 29, 20023, during the second downhill training run of the Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS Ski World Cup. Photo by Alexis Bouchard, Agence Zoom.

The athletes ─ 82 from 14 nations ─ are preparing for the first speed events of the 2023-24 Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup season at Beaver Creek, Colorado. Racers are scheduled to compete in two downhills on December 1 and 2, followed by a super G on December 3. Snow is expected to fall starting Thursday, November 30, and training run that day has been canceled for as a preemptive measure. Under FIS rules, only one training run is required at any given venue. Because a weekend of speed racing in Zermatt, Switzerland, was canceled earlier in November, officials felt it was appropriate to have two training runs in advance of the Xfinity Birds of Prey races.

The Americans ─ 10 total ─ improved over Tuesday’s showing, with Jared Goldberg the highest-ranked finisher in 13th, 1.85 seconds behind Sarrazin. Two others ─ Sam Morse and Ryan Cochran-Siegle ─ finished in the top 30, at 20th and 30th respectively. The balance of the team finished as follows:  37. Bryce Bennett; 42. Kyle Negomir; 48. River Radamus; 60. (tie) Isaiah Nelson; 62. Sam Dupratt; 73. Wiley Maple; 74. Jack Smith.

The rest of the program includes downhill races Friday and Saturday and a super G Sunday. All races are scheduled to start at 10:45 a.m. MST.


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