HEAD double win in Val Gardena and Val d’Isére
“I knew when Matthias Mayer came down and was only a tenth behind Kilde that we would be OK,” Salzgeber explained after the race. With Svindal and Jansrud running 21 and 22, last of the top seeds, the super impressive form that was first demonstrated in Lake Louise, was never in doubt for Salzgeber.
While Svindal admitted to an error at the top of the course that had him trailing Kilde, after then and the way he attacked the rest of the course, the margin of victory was all that was being questioned. “I made a mistake at the top and that was not too good,” Svindal explained, “I had to put my head down and cut the line where I could and carry the speed. Carrying the speed is what it is all about.”
“It was classic Val Gardena in that I had to push from the start but I felt that I skied pretty good,” Jansrud commented. “Around the Camels I went down on my hip but I got back on my feet and did not feel I had lost that much,” Jansrud added, “with a small mistake and to be second it is pretty good.”
Matthias Mayer was a tenth of a second off the podium: “I lost some time on the first section against Kilde but Svindal was slower than me at the top but he was so fast in the last gates like he usually is.” For Mayer the tough conditions meant that this was a hard race for his knee.
Andrew Weibrecht has been on fire in the speed events this season and although he admitted to making a mistake at the top where “I was quite a bit out and then I charged pretty hard all the rest of the way. I skied really well the rest of the way down but when you make a mistake like I did, it takes you out of contention. There was still some good skiing and a continuation of what I started in North America. For me to have a decent result here says a lot about where my skiing is now.” Weibrecht took fifth place four hundredths ahead of Adrien Theaux.
1. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) HEAD
2. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) HEAD
3. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde
4. Matthias Mayer (AUT) HEAD
5. Andrew Weibrecht (USA) HEAD
6. Adrien Theaux (FRA) HEAD
7. Georg Streitberger (AUT) HEAD
11. Ralph Weber (SUI) HEAD
12. Erik Guay (CAN) HEAD
15. Guillermo Fayed (FRA) HEAD
17. Josef Ferstl (GER) HEAD
21. Jared Goldberg (USA) HEAD
26. Mattia Casse (ITA) HEAD
Gut edges Vonn by the slimmest of margins for Victory in Val d’Isere
Lara Gut took her second win of the season as she overhauled the lead Lindsey Vonn held from the Downhill section of the Alpine Combined race in Val d’Isere. Vonn had taken a commanding lead over most of the field from the Downhill section of the race but had hoped for a lead of over two-seconds to help her down the slalom section of the race. Michaela Kirchgasser took third.
Vonn is not seen on the slalom skies that often these days. Although she has twice won a World Cup Slalom, she has only twice raced on the combined slalom. Put her on the downhill skies and the HEAD World Cup Rebel is a different force. Having posted the fastest time in the Downhill section of the race, Vonn explained: “It was a pretty good run, I can definitely ski a little bit better for tomorrow, but it was solid. Hopefully it’s enough of a gap for slalom. I think I am in a pretty good position.”
Lara Gut is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with across numerous disciplines this season. She has won in Giant Slalom in Aspen and now has taken a win in the Combined. Like Vonn, she had a healthy lead over some of the Slalom specialists from the downhill section and she made this count down the slalom course.
Gut took the lead from Kirchgasser by a comfortable nine-tenths of a second with just Vonn remaining to go. The lead Vonn held had gone by the first split yet it stayed constant all the way to the bottom at just one-hundredth of a second. Gut’s slalom had been good enough to post the fifth best time! After the race she explained “I always try to do my best in the race. Today quite a few sections were very good, some curves I have to go better tomorrow.”
This was Gut’s 14th career win and she benefitted from training slalom in the summer: “I’ve trained slalom all summer. Today I thought to myself: I have to be fast in slalom and give my best in the downhill.”
For Vonn the agony of being the wrong side of the one-hundredth in taking second, she explained that in only having done two days of Slalom training, this was ok. “I know I could have done a better downhill today. I am a bit angry and want to do better tomorrow.”
Elena Curtoni produced a solid Downhill section to place 12th and then backed this up with an encouraging slalom run to take overall 8th place, her second best result in the Combined of her career.
1. Lara Gut (SUI) HEAD
2. Lindsey Vonn (USA) HEAD
3. Michaela Kirchgasser
8. Elena Curtoni (ITA) HEAD
14. Wendy Holdener (SUI) HEAD
16. Kajsa Kling (SWE) HEAD
20. Ramona Siebenhofer (AUT) HEAD
21. Lotte Smiseth Sejersted (NOR) HEAD
26. Elisabeth Reisinger (AUT) HEAD