Svindal celebrates first Kitzbuehel victory
KITZBUEHEL, Austria – On a gray snowy day, Aksel Lund Svindal takes home the victory in the Kitzbuehel Super G race. With perfect run, the Norwegian left the rest of the field behind.
In second place, a podium rookie – Matthias Mayer lands his first career’s podium and he does in style, by finishing second on the Streif. The young Austrian crossed the finish line a mere 0.13 seconds slower then Svindal while Christof Innerhofer rounded out the podium in third, 0.40 seconds off Svindal’s pace.
Svindal is having an outstanding Super G season and has now won three of the four World Cup Super G races disputed this season knew this particular race would be slightly more important then most.
“It was a tough week but it sure started really good. I don’t do statistics or follow what I won or didn’t win – but I constantly got reminded that before today I had never won in Kitzbuehel and it’s nice to put that question to rest.”
Even when you are the best skier out there in a discipline, in Kitzbuehel one can never be sure to win and Svindal acknowledges that this week is mentally different then any other one during the season.
“Kitzbuehel is for sure a tough week mentally, it’s draining and even on days when you are skiing fast, for sure you are happy but you also feel a lot of relief. You get back all the effort you put into it, and believe me this hill requires a lot of it.”
In the days of Downhill training Svindal said that he prefers to ski the Super G but would be happier if he would be taking home the Downhill victory…
“The Super G might not be the highlight of this weekend but is for sure a tough race and a win is always a win. But I also am aware that it’s the full Downhill course that makes the legend; if the course wouldn’t be as difficult it wouldn’t be easy to create such fame about this race. The fact that we are in the middle of ski-crazy Austria makes the atmosphere something different then at most other races and a combination of all of those factors makes this race what it is.”
In second place, sharing the podiums with two well-established names on the Speed circuit was Matthias Mayer. The young Austrian was struggling to find the right words to describe what it felt like to ski your first podium run in Kitzbuehel.
“I’m very happy, a first podium and in such a special place. I am speechless, my skiing was good especially in the lower section and I tried to push hard and it paid off. It’s unbelievable for me to share the podium with Svindal and Innerhofer. It will take a while to digest what happened today and fully realize what this result means.”
Innerhofer is fresh off a Downhill victory in Wengen and even though Super G might be his less strong speed discipline, today he was on top of his game.
“I’m really happy about this third place here, after the victory in Wengen a podium in Kitzbuehel was one of my main goals this season and I am incredibly happy things worked out the way they did.”
After crashing in the last Downhill training and continuing to ski down the course after being stopped by a yellow flag, Innerhofer got penalized by the jury and will be starting the Downhill after bib 45. Though not happy with the penalty, the Italian is focused on making the most out of the situation and performing at his best in the Downhill race.
“I don’t think I need to prove anything and I won’t be risking more then I would normally and will focus on the race and hope for the best. It’s a difficult top section and the last part is not easy but I like this slope and we will see what I can do with such a high number. I have never been in the top five on the Streif and that’s for sure something I would love to achieve.”
With the Super G race a success, Kitzbuehel is getting ready to host the main event of the weekend. After three smooth training runs Saturday it’s Downhill time on the Streif and that’s a race, which never disappoints.
First skier to leave the gate at 11.30 CET.
by Ana Jelusic