Paris, Reichelt and Svindal within 0.01 second in Bormio!
BORMIO, Italy – What a thrilling way to end the It has been an amazing race on the Stelvio. With the top four finishers handling the 3270 mt. long Downhill within 0.02 seconds. Sharing the top step of the podium, Italian Dominik Paris and Hannes Reichelt both handled the slope in 1 minute, 58.62 seconds.
Aksel Lund Svindal, who has never made a World Cup podium in Bormio, his best finish here being two sixth places in 2006 and 2011, skied into third only 0.01 second behind the two winners.
In fourth place, only 0.01 second off the podium, Klaus Kroell. The Austrian skied a great run but because of the really close times at the top it proved to be not enough for would have been his second podium this season.
This is the second podium and first victory for Paris who has been knocking on the podium’s door a few times this season, finishing eight in the Lake Louise Downhill and then fifth in the ne in Beaver Creek. After finishing among the top tree in both training runs before the race, he was confident to go all in on race day.
“It’s amazing, it was my dream to win a Downhill in the World Cup - and now I finally won it... its amazing!” were the first words Paris said after realizing he won.
“Tying with Reichelt doesn't make any difference - I am only happy to be on top. I had the fasters run, and that more than enough. I had a good run in the top and then in the bottom I skied very good and fast. I was very nervous in the leader box because I know the others behind will ski well... but it turned out good now. It is totally amazing to win here in Bormio, I can't say anything just that it was a dream come true.”
A sixth place in the Season Opening Soelden Giant Slalom and an eight place in the Lake Louise Super G were the only top 10 results for Hannes Reichelt this season. He seemed to be struggling to find his form and today’s victory came as a nice boost of confidence for the upcoming Downhill Classics in January.
“I am so glad that I had that hundredth of a second on my side this year because in 2008 I was a hundredth slower then Defago. But this year Kroell who was only two hundredths of a second behind Paris and me was not on the podium, that was really crazy,” an excited Reichelt said. “I feel like I am back in downhill because my last races were really bad but I felt confident today. I think equipment today was very important because if the skies are stable on this bumpy slope it helps you to ski fast. During the Christmas break we did a good job, I did a lot of testing and now I can say I am on the right wave back. The year is ending really, really nice.”
This is the sixth speed podium for Svindal and today he matched Austrian Michael Walchhofer's 2004/05 record number of podiums in one season before New Year's.
“It’s crazy, four guys within two hundredths on one of the toughest Downhills in the world,” Svindal commented on the results. “But that was Bormio this year - it must have been a cool race on TV also. One of the Austrian commentators mentioned it was on of the best races he has commented so it must have been an exciting race.
It’s rare to see such small differences in a race that takes almost two minutes, but Svindal recalls a similar situation.
“I can't remember a race exactly this close... I remember other really close races like at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games when the podium was separated by only 0.09 seconds. But, as a ski racer you almost get used to it, its actually kind of crazy like that. In a way you always look back and try to see where you could have made up the time, but on the other side you always do you best and you never really have that perfect run. For sure there is that one mistake at the bottom that I wish I had back, but that's ski racing. I think that as long as you are fighting for the win like I am today, sometimes you get it and sometimes you don't. But racing is a lot of fun when you are in that position.”
Svindal is currently leading the Downhill standings and the Overall too, but the Norwegian seems t feel he can always do more.
“Six podiums are good, but six wins would have been even better! I have to say though that it has been a good season so far.”
The Tour continues with the a City Event where 16 men and 16 ladies will be racing in an exciting parallel event in downtown Munich.
Don't miss this video - Aksel Lund Svindal gave Fisalpine a play by play of the Bormio Downhill.
by Ana Jelusic