Travis Ganong ended the U.S.’ longest drought between men’s World Cup wins since 2000, while teammate Steven Nyman‘s season is over after he was airlifted off the downhill course after crashing in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on Friday.
Ganong prevailed by .38 of a second over Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud to notch the first U.S. men’s World Cup win in any discipline since Oct. 25, 2015.
Nyman, the top American downhiller since the Sochi Olympics, crashed into safety netting on his run and was transported by helicopter off the course.
“My season is over but aside from my knee everything is okay,” was posted on Nyman’s social media. “Time for some surgery and healing. I WILL BE BACK!”
Ganong and Nyman are the only U.S. men to make a World Cup downhill podium the last three seasons. In 2016, the U.S. went a calendar year without a men’s World Cup win in any discipline for the first time since 1999.
With Ted Ligety‘s season-ending surgery and no other top racers in technical events, downhill is currently the U.S. men’s best event going into the world championships in two weeks in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Even with Nyman’s absence.
Nyman, 34 and a three-time Olympian, has posted seven of his 11 career World Cup podiums since the Sochi Olympics, all in downhill.
Ganong, 28, enjoyed a fifth-place finish in his Olympic debut in the Sochi downhill, made his first World Cup podium later that month and won his first World Cup race in December 2014.
Ganong followed that up with a surprise world championships downhill silver medal in Beaver Creek, Colo., in February 2015. He struggled in recent months, though. Before Friday, his last top-five on the World Cup came in November 2015.
The men race another downhill Saturday (live on NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app at 6 a.m. ET).Follow @nzaccardi