Ryan Cochran-Siegle’s first Alpine skiing World Cup win ends 14-year U.S. drought


Barbara Ann Cochran, the 1972 Olympic slalom champion, screamed and screamed as she watched — on a screen from her Vermont home at 5:45 a.m. — as her son, Ryan Cochran-Siegle, descended to his first win in his 101st World Cup start.

“As if I’m right there on the hill, like he could hear me,” she said. “Hopefully, I’m not waking the neighbors up.”

Her phone flooded with messages. Later that morning, Cochran, who turns 70 on Monday, did what she’s been doing regularly for the last 40 years. She gave a ski lesson at Cochran’s Ski Area in Richmond, Vt. Afterward, she was able to connect by phone with her son, a skier since age 2.

Cochran-Siegle, a 28-year-old from an extended family of Olympians and World Cup skiers, notched one of the Skiing Cochrans’ greatest achievements in Bormio, Italy, on Tuesday.

The breakthrough on Alpine skiing’s highest level marked the first World Cup super-G victory for a U.S. man since Bode Miller in 2006. (Ted Ligety won the super-G among three golds at the world championships in 2013.)

Cochran-Siegle prevailed by .79 of a second over Austrian Vincent Kriechmayr — the largest margin in the discipline in nearly five years. Norwegian Adrian Smiseth Sejersted took third. Full results are here.

“I don’t think it’s hit yet,” Cochran-Siegle said on ORF, laughing about not having a sponsor sticker on the front of his helmet and believing his mother was likely crying back home. “You always dream of it as a kid, and to be here now is special.”

It became the 33rd bullet point on the family’s Wikipedia page. The timeline begins in 1961, when grandparents Mickey and Ginny began offering after-school lessons on the backyard rope tow, and Cochran’s Ski Area was founded.

Barbara remembers giving her first lesson when she was 10, to a young couple in their 20s. This was back when the ski fare was 25 cents to use the rope tow that Mickey installed behind the house and opened to the public.

Cochran-Siegle no doubt learned plenty from his mom, but she was never his coach. (Barbara does recall a young Ryan taking a run and smashing through a lodge window — “half-in, half-out” — leaving an indelible scar on his behind.)

By 2012, Cochran-Siegle won the world junior titles in the downhill and combined, just before his 20th birthday. He appeared destined to be the next great Skiing Cochran when, at the following year’s senior world championships, he tore an ACL and MCL in the combined.

“The doctors actually felt that he wouldn’t come back from that,” Barbara said. “I felt like it really took him about six years to recover to the point where he would have been.”

Cochran-Siegle raced just once on the World Cup over the next three years, missing the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

His first World Cup top-10 came on this day four years ago, also in Italy (Santa Caterina). His first podium came 10 days ago, also in Italy (Val Gardena, where his mom won a 1970 World Championships slalom silver medal.)

“Having success in Gardena, I feel like I can trust myself now, trust to just let things flow,” he said Tuesday. “There’s a certain [level] of confidence that I have right now that allows me to ski with what looks like a little bit of risk but also kind of carrying with some smooth skiing.”

Mom also watched and screamed during that Val Gardena downhill, where Cochran-Siegle placed second for the first speed podium for a U.S. man in nearly four years. The U.S. has been waiting for its next gold-medal male downhiller since Miller last raced in 2015.

“I always get nervous,” she said, “but I felt a little less nervous this time knowing how well he did last weekend.”

There was more concern a few weeks ago. Cochran-Siegle, who lived with his mom from March to June of this year, began this season by failing to finish the first two giant slaloms in October and November.

In between, he took part in the national championships and placed third and fourth in the super-G and downhill in fields lacking the top World Cup racers. Then, in the first World Cup super-G of the season on Dec. 12, he made a major mistake and finished 47th of 50 racers, 3.16 seconds behind the winner.

Barbara checked in on him. She recalled a November SkiRacing.com article where her son was quoted saying that he wanted “to be a top-five contender every time I step into the starting gate.” Cochran-Siegle had one career top-five finish before this season — a fifth.

“That’s a good goal,” she said, “but you don’t want to be thinking that when you’re in the start because it just puts too much pressure on you.”

Since that day, Cochran-Siegle has recorded three top-10s in five races. He was in the top 10 in all four downhill training runs in that span, including posting the fastest time in Bormio on Saturday and Sunday.

That makes him a favorite for Wednesday’s downhill, the last race of 2020 (5:30 a.m. ET, Olympic Channel and Peacock Premium).

“I don’t think I’m the favorite tomorrow,” he said. “Watching video yesterday, I think there were a lot of good skiers. I’m still young. I’m still learning.”

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Ryan Crouser breaks world record in shot put at Los Angeles Grand Prix


Two-time Olympic champion Ryan Crouser registered one of the greatest performances in track and field history, breaking his world record and throwing three of the six farthest shot puts of all time at the Los Angeles Grand Prix on Saturday.

Crouser unleashed throws of 23.56 meters, 23.31 and 23.23 at UCLA’s Drake Stadium. His previous world record from the Tokyo Olympic Trials was 23.37. He now owns the top four throws in history, and the 23.23 is tied for the fifth-best throw in history.

“The best thing is I’m still on high volume [training], heavy throws in the ring and heavy weights in the weight room, so we’re just starting to work in some speed,” the 6-foot-7 Crouser, who is perfecting a new technique coined the “Crouser slide,” told Lewis Johnson on NBC.

Sha’Carri Richardson won her 100m heat in 10.90 seconds into a slight headwind, then did not start the final about 90 minutes later due to cramping, Johnson said. Richardson is ranked No. 1 in the world in the 100m in 2023 (10.76) and No. 2 in the 200m (22.07).

Jamaican Ackeem Blake won the men’s 100m in a personal best 9.89 seconds. He now ranks third in the world this year behind Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyala and American Fred Kerley, who meet in the Diamond League in Rabat, Morocco on Sunday (2-4 p.m. ET, CNBC, NBCSports.com/live, the NBC Sports app and Peacock).

The next major meet is the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in early July, when the top three in most individual events qualify for August’s world championships.

Richardson will bid to make her first global championships team, two years after having her Olympic Trials win stripped for testing positive for marijuana and one year after being eliminated in the first round of the 100m at USATF Outdoors.

LA GRAND PRIX: Full Results

Also Saturday, Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico won the 100m hurdles in 12.31, the fastest time ever this early in a year. Nigerian Tobi Amusan, who at last July’s worlds lowered the world record to 12.12, was eighth in the eight-woman field in 12.69.

Maggie Ewen upset world champion Chase Ealey in the shot put by throwing 20.45 meters, upping her personal best by more than three feet. Ewen went from 12th-best in American history to third behind 2016 Olympic champion Michelle Carter and Ealey.

Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic ran the fastest women’s 400m since the Tokyo Olympics, clocking 48.98 seconds. Paulino is the Olympic and world silver medalist. Olympic and world champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas is on a maternity break.

Rio Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy won the 800m in 1:44.75, beating a field that included most of the top Americans in the event. Notably absent was 2019 World champion Donovan Brazier, who hasn’t raced since July 20 of last year amid foot problems.

CJ Allen won the 400m hurdles in a personal best 47.91, consolidating his argument as the second-best American in the event behind Olympic and world silver medalist Rai Benjamin, who withdrew from the meet earlier this week.

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Primoz Roglic set to win Giro d’Italia over Geraint Thomas

106th Giro d'Italia 2023 - Stage 20
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Primož Roglič all but secured the Giro d’Italia title on Saturday by overtaking leader Geraint Thomas on the penultimate stage despite having a mechanical problem on the mountain time trial.

Roglič started the stage 26 seconds behind Thomas — who was trying to become the oldest Giro champion in history — but finished the route 40 seconds quicker than the British cyclist after the demanding climb of the Monte Lussari.

That saw Roglič move into the leader’s pink jersey, 14 seconds ahead of Thomas going into the race’s mainly ceremonial final stage.

Roglič was cheered on all the way by thousands of fans from just across the border to his native Slovenia. They packed the slopes of the brutal ascent up Monte Lussari, which had an elevation of more than 3,000 feet and gradients of up to 22%.

The 33-year-old Roglič celebrated at the end with his wife and son, who was wearing a replica of the pink jersey.

“Just something amazing, eh? It’s not at the end about the win itself, but about the people, and the energy here, so incredible, really moments to live and to remember,” said Roglič, who had tears in his eyes during the post-stage television interview, which he did with his son in his arms.

It will be a fourth Grand Tour victory for Roglič, who won the Spanish Vuelta three years in a row from 2019-2021

Roglič also almost won the Tour de France in 2020, when he was leading going into another mountain time trial on the penultimate stage. But that time it was Roglič who lost time and the race to compatriot Tadej Pogačar in one of the most memorable upsets in a Grand Tour in recent years.

It appeared as if the Jumbo-Visma cyclist’s hopes were evaporating again when he rode over a pothole about halfway through the brutal climb up Monte Lussari and his chain came off, meaning he had to quickly change bicycles.

His teammates and staff had their hands over their heads in disbelief.

Despite that setback, Roglič — who had been 16 seconds ahead of Thomas at the previous intermediate time check — went on to increase his advantage.

“I dropped the chain, I mean it’s part of it,” he said. “But I got started again and I just went … I had the legs, the people gave me extra (energy).”

The 33-year-old Roglič won the stage ahead of Thomas. Joao Almeida was third, 42 seconds slower.

For Thomas, his bad luck at the Giro continued. In 2017, he was involved in a crash caused by a police motorbike, and three years later he fractured his hip after a drinks bottle became lodged under his wheel – being forced to abandon both times.

Thomas turned 37 on Thursday. The Ineos Grenadiers cyclist had seemed poised to become the oldest Giro winner in history — beating the record of Fiorenzo Magni, who was 34 when he won in 1955.

“I could feel my legs going about a kilometer and a half from the top. I just didn’t feel I had that real grunt,” Thomas said. “I guess it’s nice to lose by that much rather than a second or two, because that would be worse I think.

“At least he smashed me and to be honest Primoz deserves that. He had a mechanical as well, still put 40 seconds into me so chapeau to him. If you’d told me this back in (February), March, I would have bit your hand off but now I’m devastated.”

Thomas and Roglič exchanged fist bumps as they waited their turn to ride down the ramp at the start of the 11.6-mile time trial.

The Giro will finish in Rome on Sunday, with 10 laps of a seven-mile circuit through the streets of the capital, taking in many of its historic sites.

“One more day to go, one more focus, because I think the lap is quite hard, technical. So it’s not over til it’s finished,” Roglič said. “But looks good, voila.”

The route will pass by places such as the Altare della Patria, the Capitoline Hill, the Circus Maximus and finish at the Imperial Forums, in the shadow of the Colosseum.

The Tour de France starts July 1, airing on NBC Sports and Peacock.

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