Ryan Cochran-Siegle of the U.S. Ski Team wins the U.S. Alpine Downhill Championship at Sugarloaf in Carrabassett Valley on Tuesday. (Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover)

Sam Morse of the U.S. Ski Team competes during the NORAM downhill at Sugarloaf on Tuesday. (Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover)

Thomas Biesemeyer competes during the U.S. Alpine Championship Downhill at Suarloaf on Tuesday. (Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover)

Ryan Cochran-Siegle of the U.S. Ski Team wins the U.S. Alpine Downhill Championship at Sugarloaf in Carrabassett Valley on Tuesday. (Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover)

Ryan Cochran-Siegle is the 2019 U.S. Alpine Downhill Champion. (Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover)

Ryan Cochran-Siegle, center, wins the U.S. Alpine Downhill Championship at Sugarloaf in Carrabassett Valley on Tuesday. Thomas Biesemeyer, right, came in second and Jared Goldberg, left, placed third. (Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover)

River Radamus of the U.S. Ski Team. (Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover)

CARRABASSETT VALLEY — Ryan Cochran-Siegle doesn’t have a good feel for his speed as he crosses a finish line.

In a sport that comes down to hundredths of a second, the 26-year-old said his instincts about his performance are usually wrong.

“I have a pretty terrible feeling,” Cochran-Siegle said. “Whenever I’m fast, it turns out I made too many mistakes; when I think I nailed it, it’s too round or too slow.”

On Tuesday, though, Cochran-Siegle got it right. As his skis crossed the blue finish line, he felt great about the run finished in first place with a time off 1 minute, 7.53 seconds

“I probably had my best run in this bottom section through the cut, I feel like I finally skied that pretty competitive,” Cochran-Siegle said. “I was happy when I crossed the line, which sometimes is good in skiing, sometimes you overski it, so I am happy with my run.”

After his morning run during the NorAm Cup race (which were pushed back from Monday), Cochran-Siegle adjusted his skis to better attack the firm course.

“I think the first run my skis felt like I didn’t give them quite enough edge, and so I went down and kind of re-tuned,” Cochran-Siegle, who placed third in the NorAm race, said. “I think with the warmer weather the snow felt better, so I was comfortable with being able to push on the skis. In these conditions you have to in order to be competitive.”

Cochran-Siegle finished just 0.13 seconds ahead of runner-up and teammate Thomas Biesemeyer, and 0.19 seconds ahead of Jared Goldberg.

Cochan-Siegle was happy to share the podium with Biesemeyer and Goldberg.

“It’s cool that Tommy is kind of finding his stride again, and Jared, too,” Cochran-Siegle said. “They’ve had a tougher season earlier in the year and I think it’s cool to see them kind of bounce back.”

A “tougher season earlier in the year” is putting it lightly for Biesemeyer, who last year tore his Achilles tendon and has been grinding back to the top ever since.

The grind has been so hard on the 30-year-old that Tuesday’s downhill might be his last.

“It might be the end of my career,” Biesemeyer said. “I tore my Achilles last year, and I really struggled coming back. When you’re 30 years old and you’re on the U.S. ski team, there isn’t a lot of leeway in terms of slipping in results.

“We will see what happens. These races definitely help in terms of point profile, world rank, and I feel like I did the best I could and there’s not a lot we could do more than that.”

Biesemeyer has fought through countless injuries in his career, but none have been as difficult to bounce back from as the torn Achilles.

On Tuesday, the icy course gave him pause.

“I have struggled on ice this year, so when I see conditions like this it intimidates me, just with my own feelings right now,” Biesemeyer said.

However, the challenge also raised the stakes in Biesemeyer’s head.

“This is as good as you’re going to get on the East coast,” Biesemeyer said. “So when you come to nationals at the end of the year, and we have conditions like these, and as hard as they are and icy, it’s a reminder that the season is not over. It’s full intensity and it takes a lot of focus to ski a course that’s the same conditions we see in the World Cup. So not only is it great races but great training, as well.”

While he’s not sure if Tuesday’s race was his last, Biesemeyer is happy with his 1:07.66 time.

“It’s bittersweet,” Biesemeyer said. “It’s moments like these that you want to keep going, and I think I’m on the fence right now, 50-50, but it feels good.”

The top-10 finishers in the men’s race were separated by 1.13 seconds.  

Sam Morse of Carrabassett Valley finished in fifth with a time of 1:08.07.

NORAM CUP

Finishing ahead of Cochran-Siegle in Tuesday’s NorAm Cup downhill were Biesemeyer in first and Goldberg in second.


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