Lake Louise at its best for second downhill training
LAKE LOUISE, Canada – Skiers were greeted by perfect conditions for the second Downhill training in Lake Louise. The Canadian resort was at its best to host the second downhill training of the season. With a time of 1 minute, 51.43 seconds, last year’s super G winner title and Lake Louise race winner Aksel Lund Svindal was the man to beat today.
The Austrian team kept the momentum going by taking second, third and fourth place – Georg Streitberger finished 0.13 seconds behind Svindal, Klaus Kroell, second fastest in the first training moved one place back finishing third, .38 seconds behind and Joachim Puchner was the last within half a second behind the leader with .48 seconds out.
Five centimeters of fresh snow overnight didn’t impact the race course as the cold temperatures helped harden the base. If yesterday all racers agreed that the course was slow and soft, during the second training everyone seemed happy with how things were developing.
An interesting fact was that even though the course might have felt faster, Svindal’s time was .78 seconds slower in comparison to the best time clocked by Max Franz during the first training. The Austrian finished ninth in today’s training, almost a second and a half slower than his time on Wednesday.
“Today it was a completely different story on the slope, the snow is more compact and it was fun to ski. I must admit that I was a little surprised with the times at first – but it actually makes sense if you think of it, the new snow is the “squeaky” one and it’s slower,” Puchner explained a possible reason.
With only one more training to go, things are looking good for the races this weekend. The weather might get tricky on Friday here in Lake Louise, but with two training in very different conditions under their belts the racers are ready to show what they’ve got this weekend.
If the first training might have been a test run and a first chance to get everything set up, Thursday one could sense the race jitters slowly building up among the teams.
The only taint to an otherwise perfect day was a crash by Swiss skier Daniel Albrecht. Wearing bib number 67, he crashed into the nets and was airlifted to the medical station. An update will be provided on his condition as soon as it becomes available.
Tomorrow’s training is scheduled for 11.30 local (19.30 CET) and after that it will officially be SPEED TIME!
***UPDATE – The Swiss Ski Federation provided an update on Daniel Albrecht following his crash during Thursday’s training run – the skier suffered an injury to the left knee and has been transported to a hospital in Calgary for further evaluation.
by Ana Jelusic