Travis Ganong takes Worlds downhill silver behind Swiss (video)

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Who will American downhill fans turn to if Bode Miller retires? Travis Ganong is your man.

Ganong, 26, grabbed silver in the World Championships downhill in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Saturday, the biggest result of his burgeoning career.

“I’ve been dreaming of this race all winter,” Ganong said. “This is the best moment of my career.”

Swiss Patrick Kueng earned gold, .24 ahead of Ganong. Another Swiss, Beat Feuz, was third, .31 behind. Three-time U.S. Olympian Steven Nyman was fourth, .03 out of the medals. (full results here)

None of the top five skiers had won an Olympic or Worlds medal before.

Ganong, a Squaw Valley, Calif., native, impressed with a fifth place in his Olympic debut in the Sochi downhill last year.

He made his first World Cup podium one month later and notched his first World Cup victory on Dec. 28.

“It’s a building process,” Ganong said. “You have to learn how to ski downhill. It’s a dangerous sport.”

Ganong became the first American to win a Worlds downhill medal since Bode Miller and Daron Rahlves went one-two in 2005.

Miller, 37, told NBC’s Dan Hicks that he’s “leaning pretty heavy towards” retiring following his World Championships super-G crash Thursday.

The retired Rahlves was a forerunner for Saturday’s race and rode a chair lift with Ganong.

“[Rahlves] was an idol of mine growing up,” Ganong recently said. “I really try to emulate my skiing from what he did.”

The two go hiking and mountain biking in the summer, and they watched film two days ago of Rahlves’ 2003 World Cup downhill win on the same hill. Ganong said he learned some of Rahlves’ “tricks and tactics,” according to The Associated Press.

Ganong was part of a surprising podium Saturday.

Kueng, 31, became the first Swiss man to win the World Championships downhill in 18 years. Kueng entered with two World Cup victories in 84 starts and a best Olympic/Worlds finish of seventh.

He won his first World Cup race on the Beaver Creek Birds of Prey course on Dec. 7, 2013, and nearly crashed there two months ago.

Feuz, 27, entered with five World Cup victories, but none in almost three years. His best Olympic/Worlds finish before Saturday was ninth.

No Austrian man finished in the top 10 of a World Championships downhill for the first time since at least 1939, perhaps ever, according to International Ski Federation records.

The World Championships continue with Ted Ligety defending his title in the super combined Sunday (NBC and Live Extra, 5 p.m. ET).

World Championships broadcast schedule

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Cyclist in induced coma after Tour of Poland crash

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Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was put into an induced coma Wednesday after suffering injuries in a crash on the final stretch of the Tour of Poland, organizers said.

A massive crash at the finish of the first stage resulted in Dylan Groenewegen‘s disqualification from the race.

Leading a bunch sprint, Groenewegen veered toward the right barrier, pinching countryman Jakobsen, who barreled into the barrier meters from the finish line.

Jakobsen went head over heels, his bike went airborne and the barriers exploded onto the road, causing more cyclists to crash.

Jakobsen was airlifted to a hospital in serious condition and was put into an induced coma, the Tour de Pologne press office said.

Groenewegen crossed the finish line first but was disqualified, giving Jakobsen the stage win, according to the stage race website.

Groenewegen, a 27-year-old Jumbo-Visma rider, owns four Tour de France stage wins among the last three years.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) “strongly condemned” Groenewegen’s “dangerous” and “unacceptable” behavior. It referred Groenewegen’s actions to a disciplinary commission for possible sanctions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Figure skating Grand Prix Series will be held as ‘domestic’ competitions

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Figure skating’s Grand Prix Series will go ahead as scheduled this fall, with modifications due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Skating Union decided Monday.

Each of the series’ six tops around the globe will be “a domestic run event,” limited to skaters of the event’s host country, who regularly train in the host country and from a respective geographical area. The number of disciplines and skaters at each event are to be worked out.

The Grand Prix Series, held annually since 1995, is a six-event fall season, qualifying the top six skaters and teams per discipline to December’s Grand Prix Final. The annual stops are in the U.S., Canada, China, France, Russia and Japan, leading up to the Final, which is held at a different site each year.

The Final is the second-biggest annual competition after the world championships, which are typically in late March. The Final is still scheduled for Beijing, though whether or when it can be held will be discussed.

The series begins in late October with Skate America, which debuted in 1979 and has been held every year since 1988 as the biggest annual international competition in the U.S. Skate America’s site is Las Vegas, just as it was in 2019.

Skaters typically compete twice on the Grand Prix Series (three times if they qualify for the Final). ISU vice president Alexander Lakernik said skaters will be limited to one start in the six-event series before the Final, according to a Russian media quote confirmed by Phil Hersh.

The ISU has not confirmed or denied Lakernik’s assertion.

Most, if not all, top-level U.S. skaters train in the U.S. or Canada. That makes the first two Grand Prix stops — Skate America and Skate Canada — likely destinations. Grand Prix assignments have not been published.

“I appreciate the ISU is open to adapting competitive formats and is working to give athletes opportunities to compete,” Evan Bates, a U.S. ice dance champion with Madison Chock who trains in Montreal, wrote in a text message to Hersh. “This announcement gives reassurance that the ISU is doing their best to ensure a season will still take place. Of course, it’s hard to predict what will happen, and we’re not sure about what country we would compete in. It would probably depend on what the quarantine rules are at that time.”

The January 2021 U.S. Championships are scheduled for San Jose, Calif. The March 2021 World Championships are set for Stockholm.

In July, the ISU canceled the Junior Grand Prix Series for skaters mostly ages 13 to 18, including two-time U.S. champion Alysa Liu, who cannot enter the senior Grand Prix until 2021.

Other early season senior international competitions scheduled for September were also canceled or postponed.

U.S. Figure Skating said in a statement that it will have more details on the Grand Prix Series in the coming weeks after collaborating with an ISU-appointed group.

“This is a great example of the figure skating community coming together to ensure that the world’s premier figure skating series will continue during these challenging times,” the statement read. “Figure skaters want to compete and figure skating fans from all around the world want to see their favorite athletes skate, and this format will ensure just that.”

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