By Paul D. Bowker |
Dec. 01, 2017,
12:01 a.m. (ET)
Ted Ligety competes in men’s downhill at the Audi FIS World Cup on the Birds of Prey on Dec. 2, 2014 in Beaver Creek, Colo.
The path toward the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 for alpine skiers rises up big time this week with the Birds of Prey World Cup at Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado.
Considered to be one of the most popular stops on the FIS World Cup men’s tour, the Birds of Prey features super-G competition Friday, downhill on Saturday and giant slalom on Sunday.
Ted Ligety, a three-time Olympian and 2014 Olympic men’s giant slalom champion, is expected to race in the giant slalom and is seeking his seventh win on the course. His scheduled season debut in October in Soelden, Austria, was called off due to bad weather conditions, giving him even more time to prepare.
Travis Ganong, a 2014 Olympian, heads into the competition as the highest-ranked American in the overall world cup standings. He is ranked 40th. Ganong is one of the top Americans in the super-G after finishing 16th in the event last week in Lake Louise, Canada.
Another skier to watch is Andrew Weibrecht, a two-time Olympic medalist in the super-G.
U.S. skiers in the downhill include Bryce Bennett, who is in 21st place in the world cup standings, and Jared Goldberg, who is 24th.
TV: 1 p.m. ET Friday, NBC Sports Network; 5 p.m. Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday, NBC; 8:30 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Olympic Channel
Webcast: 12:30 p.m. Saturday, 11:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, NBC Sports App
Make way for Lindsey Vonn.
Vonn, the 2010 Olympic women’s downhill champion, has already won 18 times in Lake Louise, Alberta. She’ll have downhill races Friday and Saturday, followed by the super-G on Sunday. They are the first downhill races of the world cup season for the women.
Among those joining Vonn are three-time Olympic downhiller Stacey Cook and 2014 Olympian Jackie Wiles.
Also skiing in Lake Louise is 2014 Olympic women’s slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin, who is coming off emotional first- and second-place finishes in front of family and friends last week in Killington, Vermont.
Shiffrin, who won the slalom in…