Svindal wins Lake Louise super-G
LAKE LOUISE, Canada – It’s the last day of racing for the men in Lake Louise and once again the excitement ran high among the crowd.
On a super-G course which was nearly as fast as Saturday’s downhill due to the relatively straight course set by Austrian coach Burkhard Schaffer, skiers pushed hard to find the perfect line and take home a victory.
Aksel Lund Svindal had already won four super-G races at Lake Louise, including last year when he dominated the super-G race by finishing almost a second ahead of Adrien Theaux and Joachim Puchner who finished second and third, respectively.
Add to that the fact that he went on to win the last three super G races on the World Cup last year and won both speed discipline titles, it is no surprise that he was the one to watch in the first super-G of the new season.
And this year Svindal lived up again to his favorite status, he crossed the finish line in 1 minute, 28.53 seconds, leaving Austrians Matthias Mayer and Georg Streitberger 0.24 and 0.38 seconds behind.
“I knew that Georg was fast, I heard that on the start,” Svindal said when asked about his plan for today’s race.
“I knew it was a fast course, especially on the “Coaches Corner” and “Followay” sections, people kept making mistakes there and I could have probably done a bit better there myself. But, what is important in Lake Louise is to carry the speed down, I was mainly focused on that and on being as compact as I could in the last section,” he added.
Today, Svindal became become the first man to win five World Cup Super G races at Lake Louise. He currently shares the record of four with Austrian legend Hermann Maier.
“Lake Louise has been very kind to me in the past. And the best part is knowing that the years you are fast in Lake Louise you know that you will have fast skis for the rest of the season. We have three Head guys on the podium today so this must be a good sign for the future!”
Before today’s race, of all men's World Cup super G races held at Lake Louise, Austria has claimed 20 of the 42 available podium positions. In the 14 races, Austria has missed the podium only once, in 2011. Today with two racers on the podium they showed once again how well the Canadian snow suits them. Having their coach set the course sure didn’t hurt either.
“The course set was easy but it was difficult to attack and risk everything,” second ranked Mayer commented. “Still, my run was good, I skied particularly well in the steep section but maybe in the last gates I lost some time, that might have cost me a victory. But overall I am very happy with how it went today.”
“It was a good course for us downhillers, I like it when super-G is closer to downhill than a giant slalom,” his teammate Streitberger commented today’s course set. “I think the course was fast but good to ski and I am satisfied with how I handled it. I only made one mistake at the last big turn but things like that can always happen. It’s my first podium in Lake Louise and that for me makes today a perfect day.”
This weekend all eyes were on Bode Miller, after missing all of last season recovering from knee, today he competed in his first World Cup Super G race since 16 December 2011, when he finished second to Beat Feuz in Val Gardena.
After skiing a great upper section and a few mistakes in the lower, Miller finished 16th in the Saturday’s downhill and 23rd in today's super-G, showing that even though he might have not gotten right back in podium form, he could still be a serious contender for top results this season.
It's time for the men's teams to pack up their gear and move to Beaver Creek where a first downhill training is scheduled for Tuesday.