Fifth World Cup victory for Erik Guay
KVITFJELL, Norway – Canadian speed specialist Erik Guay was the man to beat in today’s downhill race in Kvitfjell, the last before the Finals in Lenzerheide. Guay won by finishing 0.35 seconds ahead of French Johan Clarey and 0.57 seconds ahead of Olympic gold medalist Matthias Mayer.
“It’s a perfect fay for me, conditions are challenging but they did a great job in just getting the race off,” Guay praised the Organizer’s efforts in delivering the best possible race under some difficult weather conditions.
“The fact that we got to start a bit higher up today sure helped. It’s a challenging course and I was happy to make it down fast. I saw already yesterday that you need to be well balanced, as this type of snow tends to peel away from. Also, I think this course is won or lost on the bottom section so I wanted to ski strong there and I think I did that and everything came together right.”
Matthias Mayer had a rough race yesterday in Kvitfjell as mid course he made a mistake which kicked him off the line and made him ski out of the course but today he managed to stay focused and deliver a great run.
“I’m very happy as yesterday I made this big mistake and skied out. It was important for my confidence to ski well and have a good race today,” Mayer said.
Just weeks ago, Mayer surprised everyone when after not finishing better fifth in a World Cup downhill this season, he won the gold downhill medal in Sochi. It took a while even for Mayer to realize the impressiveness of his achievement.
“I really needed some time to realize that I am the Olympic champion, but now it’s a nice feeling. I can stand in the start knowing that I won that gold medal and it’s almost easier to ski now because winning a downhill as difficult as the Sochi one gave me confidence. It’s great to know I can be the fastest when conditions are tough,” the young Austrian explained.
Johan Clarey comes from a season of ups and downs where the latest problems he is experiencing with his knee made him not really look forward to today’s race.
“It’s a tough moment for me, I have a really painfull knee and I am coming for some bad Olympic results which were hard to swallow,” Clarey said.
“But now this podium is such a great note to end the season with. When I woke up this morning my knee felt a bit better, everything felt a bit better today. Times were so tight here, four tenths could mean the difference between podium and 15th place and I am just glad I was at the right end of those tenths.
American Travis Ganong who earned his first podium in yesterday’s downhill finished fourth today, only 0.05 seconds off the podium while Kjetil Jansrud who won yesterday and Georg Streitberger who came second finished 5th and 11th respectively in today’s race.
With one downhill to go, Aksel Lund Svindal has secured the downhill title but the battle for the Overall is still open between him and Marcel Hirscher. The Norwegian is currently 27 points ahead of Hirscher.
“My lead in the overall World Cup is not good enough. Marcel is always in the top 3, and that’s where I need to be if I want to have a chance. For a speed skier the goals are the downhill and super-G titles – I won the downhill and tomorrow I can hope I can secure the super-G one as well," Svindal said.