Kroell fastest in last Bormio Downhill training
BORMIO, Italy – After an initial scare this morning about the weather interfering with the organizer’s plans to hold a second Downhill training on the Stelvio Course in Bormio, skiers were able to once again test the course before Saturday’s race. From a lowered start, on a slope that went from being 3270 mt to being 2960 mt long, the second Downhill training took place in great conditions.
Austrian Klaus Kroell clocked the fastest time of the day and by handling the course in 1 minute, 56.13 seconds. In second place, local favorite and the only Italian winner of the Bormio Downhill – Christof Innerhofer completed the course just 0.09 seconds slower then Kroell. As we saw it happen in the first training, in third place another Italian, Dominik Paris kept up his great pace from Thursday finishing .46 slower then the leading time.
“The slope was better than yesterday and the warmer temperatures make the bumps a bit easier,” Kroell said. “My run was much better than the one I had in the first training and my confidence is good for the race tomorrow.”
Kroell seems to be a fan of the tough first couple of seconds of the Stelvio slope and hopes that on race day he get’s a chance to ski the whole course as in the first training.
“By starting at La Rocca today, the training time was only 4-5 sec shorter then yesterday and I really like the top section. I have always been a fan of it and of the jump just off the start gate so I hope tomorrow we can have a race starting at the top and good conditions all the way to the bottom.”
Innerhofer will be one of the big favorites in tomorrow’s race but the Italian seems to be struggling once again with his back and will need to find a way to switch his focus from the pain to performing at his best.
“I the past years I had a lot of satisfaction from skiing, after winning my medals at the World Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen I realized I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone anymore and I can ski because I want to and I like to do it,” Innerhofer explained the mindset he was going into tomorrow’s race.
Doing so when taking pain medications might not be the easiest thing in the world.
“I have leaned a great lesson since I won here in Bormio, rest is one of the essential segments of training and in order to be able to ski I need to listen to my body and take care of my back – sometimes that means coming to a race not as prepared as I wish but I learned to deal with that. My first points happened on this slope I finished 26th in 2006 I think, then a first top 10 in 2007 and a victory the next year. I have a lot of great memories from here and will be giving my best.”
His teammate Paris has plenty to prove and he seems t be ready to be one of the main actors in tomorrow’s race.
“I feel very good and am full of confidence on this slope,” Paris said about his two training podiums. “I had two good training days and will be ready to attack tomorrow when the real deal starts. I was ninth here last year, a top 10 in the World Cup is always a great result but this year I am aiming at a top five finish. Getting a podium here would be a great bonus, but the goal is to do a good run. I always prefer starting from the top, there is more adrenaline but as we had a good first training and this is a tiring Downhill I don’t mind giving my legs a little bit of a break before the race.”
Start is scheduled for 11.45 CET, stay tuned!