February 7, 2007
ARE, Sweden (USST Press Release)—T.J. Lanning (Park City, UT) was named Wednesday to fill the final U.S. men's start slot in the super combined race at the FIS Alpine World Championships.
The super combi, making its debut at Worlds Thursday (6:30 a.m. ET), mixes the traditional downhill run with only one run of slalom, all in the same day. Combined blends DH and two runs of slalom, but the super combined, introduced two years ago, is designed to telescope everything into one day of racing.
U.S. fans can follow World Championships coverage live. NBCSports.com and MediaZone.com will team up for live coverage of every race during the World Championships, which run until Feb. 18 in Are. In addition, live interval timing is available at livetiming.usskiteam.com (6:30 a.m. ET).
The U.S. Ski Team will have three other starters besides Lanning, who is healthy this season after battling a series of injuries in prior years. Olympic combined champion Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), 2003 combined world champion Bode Miller (Bretton Woods, NH) and Steven Nyman (Provo, UT) will complete the American foursome.
Competing in their first World Championships, Nyman was 12th Tuesday in super G and Lanning finished 34th. Nyman qualified for the 2005 Worlds, but he reinjured his lower left leg and that sidelined him.
The first men's downhill training run was held Wednesday with Miller, the reigning downhill world champion, posting the top U.S. time in 28th place. Head Coach Phil McNichol said, "The training run was okay for the first time down the full course but it was pretty uneventful. There were some challenges with the super cold snow, but that's why you have a training run...and we'll address those before tomorrow.
"I thought Bode had some good sections through the middle, and Marco (Sullivan -Squaw Valley, CA) skied well, too. But, on the whole, the guys were getting a first look at the course after all this snow, so I wouldn't try to read anything into the times," he said. The men run DH Saturday.
The women, who have their super combined Friday, also held their first DH training run. Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) had the fastest U.S. time, finishing fourth with Lindsey Kildow (Vail, CO) 29th.
Kildow, the super G silver medalist, had a brief detour in her nutritional pathway after her performance Tuesday: she was invited to eat with the Austrian team, which brings its own chef to major championships. She was smiling after making time for a kaisershmarren, an Austrian pancake, before returning for a U.S. women's team meeting at her hotel.
The U.S. Ski Team is sporting new Spyder racing uniforms for Worlds. Athletes traded in their basic blue for basic black outfits with the distinctive spider-web designs plus stars below the knees. Nyman smiled, "I like black. Black is back."