Cuche leaves Kvitfjell with win in super G
Swiss skier Didier Cuche concluded his weekend in Kvitfjell with a win in the super-G on Sunday to take the lead of the discipline Worls Cup standings.
The 36-year-old Cuche made the difference towards the end of the course as he perfectly mastered the steepest part of the Olympiabakken slope in one minute and 33.05 seconds, 30/100 of a second ahead of in-form skier Klaus Kroell, a winner here two years ago in downhill while Joachim Puchner of Austria got his first ever World Cup podium in 3rd place at 34/100.
This victory, his first in a super-G this season and the 17th in his career, handed the 36-year-old Swiss the lead of the standings in the discipline with one race remaining, next week in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. The last Swiss to capture the super G World Cup was Paul Accola, the 1992 Overall World Cup champion!
This success also put an end to a tumultuous weekend for Cuche who lost his lead in the downhill World Cup rankings to Austria's veteran Michael Walchhofer after disappointing results in Friday and Saturday's races, where he took fifth and seventh place respectively, while Walchhofer was third and first.
"I was extremely motivated today and I asked members of my staff to support me loudly at the start. I wanted to do a solid race, but I didn't expect to be so fast today", Cuche said. "It has been a tough week for me."
"I didn't sleep well last night because there was a lot of tension around me. It's nice to finally win today and to take the lead."
"This was for sure one of the most difficult weeks of my career", the Swiss veteran added. "Now I'll need to focus on the coming week as I have to fight hard to clinch the downhill or the super G globe," Cuche said, who became the oldest winner in a super G World Cup race on Sunday.
A three-time winner in the downhill standings in his career, Cuche never managed to clinch the super G cup. He lost it by a single point in 2008 finishing 16th and out of the points at the Finals in Bormio, in Italy. Austria's Hannes Reichelt won the race and the title that day.
The new holder of the overall World Cup, Ivica Kostelic of Croatia, crowned after Saturday's downhill, finished in eighth place, and now trails Cuche by 68 points in third position of the Super G rankings.
"I really wanted to finish on the podium to confirm that I am a complete skier, said Kostelic, who became the first Croatian man to win the overall globe thanks to seven wins this season. "I'm a bit angry with myself because I really had a chance to finish in the top three, which would be great for me, but I made a big mistake towards the middle of the race."
Austria's Georg Streitberger, back home after injuring himslf in january, slipped in second place in the super G standings. He had to put and an end to his season due to a broken leg and is no longer in the running.
Didier Cuche also reinforced his 2nd place in the overall standings while his teammate Carlo Janka, 9th today is a solid 3rd.
Italy's Cristof Innerbhofer, the newly crowned super G World Champion was a solid 7th not too far from the podium while Aksel Lund Svindal once more ended far from the leaders. He ended at a distant 27th position.
The next races are scheduled for Wednesday at Lenzerheide where the weather conditions have been excellent in past days with much sunshine and warm temperatures.
Contributed by PkL