Janka dominant in front of home crowd
WENGEN, Switzerland – After a two-year hiatus from the podium, Carlo Janka had two perfect runs in Friday’s Alpine Combined in front of some 15000 local fans went on to win his first race since 2011. With a total time 1.31 seconds slower than Janka’s, Victor Muffat-Jeandet finished in second place and earned his first ever World Cup podium. The Frenchman was 27th in the downhill but clocked the fastest slalom run of the day for an impressive climb in the rankings. In third place, Mr. Wengen – Ivica Kostelic grasped his 60th career podium in a season where he has been struggling to find his usual consistency.
“To be back on the podium, to be on the top of the podium after a long time, it means a lot to me,” said Janka. “When everything is working well, anything is possible. That happened today, so I’m looking forward to Sunday’s downhill because my confidence is good now.”
“(The last four years) was a little bit up and down,” added Janka. “Sometimes it was good and other times I was really down. It was not so easy. It was difficult, but I also learned much, but now I can look forward to the next race.”
Muffat-Jendet’s best results so far have been four top 10 placements in GS therefore today’s result came as a pleasant surprise.
“Today was a bit of a surprise for me; I felt the pressure of making it into the top 30 in the downhill and being considered a “slalom” guy. I made a mistake in the last section and was worried it might turn out to be expensive for me, especially as I knew there were a few strong slalom guys who were coming after me, Gino Caviezel and Vincent Kriechmayr are guys I know from Europa Cup how strong they can be,” Muffat-Jeandet said.
Today marks not only Kostelic’s 60th podium, but also his 13th in Wengen a venue which has always suited Kostelic, even in years like this one when he was struggling to show his full potential elsewhere.
“I was not one of the favorites for the podium,” said Kostelic, “so it is truly like a victory for me. It is also my 60th podium overall. I’m thankful that I also had some good luck in this race because Matthias (Mayer) was only five-hundredths behind, but he has time in front of him. He has many more podiums to come — and this was important for me. Fortune was on my side.”
“I was looking to score top 30 in the downhill, and I did it. The time difference was promising, so I really hoped for the podium today after the downhill. I pushed pretty hard in the slalom. I know things aren’t going great for me at the moment, and I can not say I am a favorite, but Wengen is a special place for me. I have had many successes here.”
Two more days of racing are ahead of us in Wengen and if the Weather doesn't get too crazy it should be another amazing weekend of skiracing.