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Friedman 3rd at Birds of Prey

Advice
posted: 01/01/2000

Beaver Creek, CO, Dec. 5, 2000--It was a career day for 20 year-old Bryon Friedman (Park City, UT) Tuesday as he took third in a Chevy Truck Super Series super G race on a challenging Birds of Prey course at Beaver Creek.

Outdoor Life Network will air coverage of the Beaver Creek Super Series March 8 and 15 at 9 p.m. EST.

Canadian Mike Giannelli won the race and $1500 with a time of 1:23.25, the only competitor to record a time under 1:24.00. Austrailian AJ Bear, who was third in Monday's super G, took second in 1:24.17 and Friedman followed with a 1:24.24.

It was the best result of Friedman's young career and a huge confidence boost for the U.S. Development Team member. He was ecstatic with his first career Super Series podium finish and his improvement from a 16th place finish in Monday's race.

"It feels great on such a gnarly course with gnarly conditions today," said Friedman. "Coming from 42nd (his start position) to third, it felt great and I'm really excited."

The Birds of Prey course is considered one of the most challenging in the world with its extremely steep sectionsand knolls that throw skiers into the air at substantial heights. In Monday's race, 23 of 76 racers did not finishthe course due to its difficulty. Today, 20 competitors did not cross the finish line.

"I had an okay run yesterday, just not as aggressive as today," claimed Friedman. "Generally, I ski moretentatively than most people, so I just felt if I went all out, I could be really fast. I did and it paid off."

Today's course was set much faster in the top section than yesterday's, providing for faster times across thefinish line. Thomas Vonn (Newburgh, NY) won Monday's super G with a time of 1:24.28. Vonn missed a gate and didnot finish today's race. A lot of skiers were late on the same gate and ended up getting slapped in the face withthe gate panel.

"The top section today was a little less turny, so you could let it rip," said Friedman. "There was a tough gate inthe middle section on the flats that a lot of guys were missing. Fortunately, I got the call up and knew about it, soI set up for it and made it no problem. And then I absolutely nailed the bottom section."

"That was huge. It was by far the biggest race of his career," said U.S. Development Team director Aldo Radamus."He felt that he wasn't as aggressive as he needed to be yesterday. Today, he really attacked top to bottom and hewas moving much better between turns - and it shows in the results."

Weather conditions also played a part in today's race as skies were overcast, creating a lot of flat light on thecourse. Temperatures had also dropped since Monday and the wind picked up considerably right at the end of therace.

"The lighting was terrible," said Friedmman. "But I love flat light because I ski so much of it in the off-season thatI came to like it. It's kind of my conditions I guess."

Bill Johnson, the '84 Olympic gold medallist in downhill, finished 46th of 53 finishers. It was an improvementfrom Monday's race as he was 51st in his first International Ski Federation (FIS) race since the 1989-90 season.

The Chevy Truck Super Series at Beaver Creek concludes Wednesday with a giant slalom.

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