Reichelt fastest in second DH training at Beaver Creek

01 December 2011 20:20

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. – Austrian veteran Hannes Reichelt was looking good in downhill training once again at Beaver Creek on Thursday, putting down a run that was nearly two seconds faster than Didier Cuche’s lead time in the first training on Wednesday.

Reichelt, who didn’t qualify to race in Beaver Creek last year but who was third in training Wednesday and has won the super G here twice – in 2005 and 2007 – finished Thursday’s downhill training in 1 minute, 43.64 seconds. Only two other athletes came within a half a second of his time, teammates Matthias Mayer, who, wearing bib No. 67, finished 0.07 seconds behind Reichelt although he missed a gate, and Klaus Kroell, 0.26 seconds back with no missed gates.

The temperature dropped dramatically from Wednesday to Thursday and it was much cloudier. Also, the wind blew up to 45 kilometers per hour throughout the day.

“The visibility with my start number was better than with the beginning start numbers,” said Reichelt, who wore bib No. 29. “I was not perfect on the line. I was falling a little bit inside. The conditions were perfect. The course is very fast.”

Mayer said he missed a gate after The Brink on the steep part of the course, but overall was very pleased with his performance and said he is ready for the race on Friday.

“I jumped too much and missed the gate – there’s a double gate to the right in the steep part. Maybe [it would have been] a few tenths more,” said the 21-year-old Austrian, who landed his first career World Cup top 10 last weekend in the Lake Louise super G. “I’m very happy for today’s training. Yesterday I was four seconds behind the leader and in the evening I thought, ‘that’s not me. I will push hard and give everything.’”

Kroell, who wore bib No. 16, said he felt good on course, too – that he ran the training at about 95 percent of his ability – and also got lucky with the direction of the wind.

“I had a good feeling on the course. It was a little bit windy, changing a bit, I had a good wind sometimes from behind. Other guys got less wind,” Kroell said. “I hope at some corners I can ski faster. The rest was good. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Also right up with the top guys in training was once again giant slalom specialist Kjetil Jansrud, who was fourth Thursday, 0.71 seconds behind the lead time.

The Norwegian was sixth in Wednesday’s training and made a remarkable leap in his speed results last weekend in Lake Louise, when he notched his best career downhill result in 11th.

“I don’t know how lucky the other guys were but I had a nice tail wind,” said Jansrud, who said he completely changed his downhill ski setup this season. “I’ve been doing speed races for a couple of years now. It’s always been a goal to get better, so I’ve kept on training, but it’s never really paid off [until] this year. I’m happy with Lake Louise, but this is a hill that should fit me better. It’s more technical. At least now I know I can keep up with the guys in the flat parts, which is a huge advantage if you’re a good technician, so I think I’ve made a step in the right direction. I can tell you it’s way more satisfying to see your name in the top top-three rather than the bottom top-three.”

After leading training Wednesday, Cuche finished fifth Thursday, 0.82 seconds behind Reichelt.

“I changed what I didn’t do well yesterday. It worked but not everywhere,” he said. There’s a lot of strong guys skiing well here.”

The downhill kicks off at 11 a.m. local time at Beaver Creek on Friday.

Go here for full second training results.

by Shauna Farnell