Svindal makes it a victory and a Super G title on home snow
KVITFJELL, Norway – Aksel Lund Svindal has won almost everything, but this weekend the focus was more on what he hasn’t won – a race on Norwegian snow. So this Sunday, Svindal gave it his best shot in Kvitfjell and by crossing the Super G finish line in 1 minute, 29.79 seconds not only he won his first race in his home country, but he secured the discipline title before the final Super G race in Lenzerheide.
Svindal had an impeccable run, he was leading at every split time and completed his race 0.52 seconds faster than second ranked Georg Streitberger. The podium was completed by Werner Heel, who’s run put him in third place, a mere 0.05 off the Austrian’s time.
Svindal has now won four of the five World Cup Super G races so far this season and came second in the fifth. A lot was at stake for Svindal as in only one day he could secure the Super G title, win his first race in Norway and achieve his 50th career podium.
Svindal did all of that and more, as he equaled the men's record of four Super G victories in one World Cup season. It has been achieved three times before, all by the same man – Hermann Maier, who won four Super Gs in 1997/98, 1998/99 and 1999/2000.
“I was definitely more focused on the win today that’s the thing I am mostly happy about,” Svindal said after his victory. “It’s fun to win races and I knew that Marsaglia (second in the Super G standings) had to pretty much win today to have a chance at the Finals so I was rather relaxed about it. It felt like I had the title already coming into the race, Super G has been my best event and out of the eight titles I have four Super G ones.”
Now finally everyone will stop asking him about winning at home…
“I’m pretty relaxed about the ‘winning at home’ question but I do like to give the crowd some entertainment so a win for Norway in front of these fans is great.”
“It’s perfect for me today, I had an almost perfect run and I feel my shape has been getting better and better in the past weeks, now I just wish the season was a bit longer,” Streitberger who is fresh off a podium in Garmisch-Partekirchen last week said. “I was in the good shape while training during the whole year but somehow I never managed to bring that speed in the race. After Kitzbuehel something changed in my head and things have been going much better.”
Streitberger couldn’t not comment on the amazing day Svindal had today.
“He is impressive, I want to congratulate him on his achievements and I believe he is definitely one of the best racers out there. He had a perfect day…”
This season, after changing material Werner Heel has been on the road to comeback as one of the strongest speed skiers and a podium today just served as a bost of confidence.
“It was a great day, I felt good from the very beginning, even just freeskiing this morning things felt right,” Heel said with a big smile. “I have won my first race on this slope and I really like it so everything came together for me today. The snow was great and I had fun skiing. Good results are always good and you always need them as they are great for your self-confidence and for the motivation of working hard towards next year.”
Heel is currently in the run for a spot on the Super G podium at the finals in Lenzerheide, sitting in fourth position only four points behind third ranked Matthias Mayer and 25 points behind teammate Matteo Marsaglia.
“I don’t plan on making it easy for them, it’s me and Marsaglia for the second and third place behind Svindal and I don’t plan on making it easy for him,” Heel commented on the standings.
Next up for the men are the last World Cup races before the finals, a Giant Slalom and a Slalom in Kranjska Gora next week. Stay tuned, things are getting exciting in the run for the four still available titles!
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by Ana Jelusic