SOELDEN, Austria (Oct. 14) - With a bright sun and cloudless sky as a backdrop on the Rettenbach Glacier, the U.S. men's and women's alpine teams staged time trials Friday to complete the starting lineup for the opening World Cup giant slaloms Oct. 22-23.
The format for each was better-of-two runs; men skied first with the entire tech team competing for two places and then the women ran with four athletes chasing three open spots; 10 U.S. women and seven men will ski in the first races. Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) and Tom Rothrock (Cashmere, WA) edged two-time Olympian Chip Knight (Stowe, VT) for the men's final starts while Lauren Ross (also Stowe), Stacey Cook (Truckee, CA) and Kaylin Richardson (Edina, MN) earned the women's places for the opening weekend with Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, WA), coming back from knee surgery in the spring, just off the pace.
"It was a fun time, definitely fun to watch - everyone put some urgency into their runs. All three guys skied really well and it was close," Men's SL/GS Head Coach Mike Morin said. "We had everybody in the trial and Ted and 'Rotty' were skiing just as fast as the whole team; they were right in there."
Daron Rahlves (Sugar Bowl, CA), GS bronze medalist at the 2005 World Championships, led the first run and World Cup overall champion Bode Miller (Bretton Woods, NH) was the fastest in the final run. "Ted was just a tenth of a second off Bode in the second run...yeah, the slalom specialist making a strong move in GS," Morin said.