Kroell wins first Beaver Creek training
BEAVER CREEK, USA – Some days are just better then others, and when you are a ski racers, a day like today is as good as it gets. Blue skies, crisp mountain air, beautiful views and most importantly the perfect conditions of the famous Birds of Prey slope in Beaver Creek had everyone leaving the finish area with a smile.
Tuesday’s first downhill training was a pleasure to watch and according to the athletes, also to ski.
With a time of 1 minute, 41.52 seconds, Klaus Koell was the fastest man down the slope. His teammate and upcoming star Max Franz placed second, 0.45 seconds behind Kroell and Christof Innerhofer from Italy rounded up today’s podium. Kroell missed the victory in Beaver Creek last year by a mere 0.14 seconds, finishing third behind Miller and Feuz.. With both of them struggling to come back from knee injuries, Kroell for sure has his eyes set on his first victory in Beaver Creek.
Winning the first training run is always good for one’s confidence, but Kroell is the first to admit that it means very little in the grand scale of things.
“It’s of course good for your confidence,” he commented. “But, it says almost nothing about what might happen in the races. It’s good to do a good time but most skiers take it easier as there is less pressure on the first training. This is one of the rare occasions when you can hold something back, luckily others held back more than me.”
At 33 Kroell, is a veteran of the Tour and brings plenty of experience to each of his races, but today even he was impressed with the conditions he encountered on the slope.
“I had so much fun, it was great! The slope was great and already after inspection I knew that it was going to be so much fun skiing down! Of course my experience helps me a lot, on the start, even before the inspection I know exactly the way I need to go – I know exactly what I have to do, with a 10cm difference here and there. I push out the start focusing on skiing well and finding the best line. Today it simply worked.”
Aksel Lund Svindal was unbeatable last weekend in Lake Louise, and today he finished fourth, 0.88 seconds behind Kroell. But the Austrian will be keeping an eye on him in the upcoming training runs as he is always one who can do well in Beaver Creek.”
Svindal has been amazing in Lake Louise and I am definitely keeping an eye on him. After dominating those first two races we all know he is strong and I will have to push hard in order to beat him.”
Wednesday the second training is scheduled for 10.45 local time (10.54 CET), stay tuned as we move toward an exciting weekend!