Svindal celebrates 25th career victory
BORMIO, Italy – Despite the fears that weather might get in the way, the last men’s race of 2013 proved to be a great success. After a 30-minute start delay, which allowed Organizers to clear the “Stelvio” of the overnight snowfall, a great race closed this calendar year.
Aksel Lund Svindal celebrated his 25th World Cup victory skiing a fantastic run and posting the fastest time. He crossed the finish line in 1:54.08, finishing 0.39 seconds ahead of last year’s winner, Austrian Hannes Reichelt and 0.51 seconds ahead of Erik Guay (CAN) who won the last downhill in Val Gardena.
Svindal, who has never before won a World Cup downhill race in Italy but was third in Bormio last season was very satisfied with his run.
“Bormio is a tough race. Usually it is decided on the last section; when everyone is tired you have to try and push that bit extra. The top part this year was bumpy and soft so it was quite hard to be precise in those conditions and Bormio is a slope that is as tough as the conditions make it. It might not be as spectacular as some of the January Classics but it can sure be as tough,” Svindal said after his victory.
Reichelt has very good memories of Bormio, having celebrated one of his biggest successes at the Italian venue.
“I am really fond of this slope,” a very happy Reichelt said. “I earned my super-G title in 200 with a victory and shared a victory with Paris here last season. I really had some great moments on this slope and I hope they keep coming. It has been a great 2013 and I am looking forward to what 2014 will bring….But now it’s time to turn my mind to the January Classics, I like those races and am looking forward to them after a short break.”
It has been two great weekends for Guay as he kept his momentum going after the Val Gardena victory.
“I skied very well today and I think that I took the necessary chances. Maybe I even tool a bit too many of them in the bottom section and made some small mistakes which cost me some time. I feel confident as I can see my form going up,” Guay said.
Before preparing for the January races, Guay has only one priority – getting home to his family.
“I can not wait to fly back home and spend some time with my wife and daughters. It was hard to watch the girls open their Christmas presents on Skype so I can not wait to be back home with them for a few days,” he said.
Svindal has somewhat different New Year’s plans.
“I am going south to do some windsurfing and relax on the beach for four days over New Year’s. I want to have some fun before the World Cup continues in January. It’s healthy for me to walk barefoot on the beach and relax a bit after being in the cold all the time,” he said.
This race wraps up the 2013 races and after a short break, the World Cup will start again in 2014 with the ladies’ and men’s slalom races in Bormio on the 5th and 6th of January.
Happy holidays to everyone!