Svindal wins first downhill of the season
The first Audi FIS Ski World Cup speed race of the season was staged today in beautiful Lake Louise (CAN) and Aksel Lund Svindal showed the world that he is back.
The Norwegian multiple globe-winner (2x DH, 5x SG, 1x SC, 1x GS) was sidelined by an Achilles tendon injury and participated in only two races last season. His top-five performances during the three training runs gave a glimpse of his excellent shape, but on the top section of the course his line was far from perfect.
“I was definitively pushing harder than in the training runs so it wasn’t that clean, but that’s what happens when you are racing, you have to see where the limits are. I made a couple of mistakes that I thought would cost me more, luckily I was carrying good speed. I was a little bit surprised when I crossed the finish line, but it doesn’t matter as long as it is green”.
In the end, Svindal and second-places Peter Fill (ITA) were separated by a mere 0.01 seconds.
Fill was very happy about his performance. “I like this hill, today was a good result for me, I was on the podium here twice before. For sure it’s the best way to start the season.” His last and only World Cup win was in Lake Louise’s downhill in 2008, and since then, he has struggled. “The last years were not so easy, I had a lot of injuries but now I’m ok, in a good shape, I’m fast, and I hope I can continue that way.”
The podium was rounded out by Travis Ganong (USA), who earned his third World Cup podium.
“I’m always far behind here in Lake Louise, it’s a flatter hill and I struggle with it because I’m a little smaller, so I’m really happy to figure out how to be fast here. I had a big crash 10 days ago and I didn’t even know if I’d be here, so I’m just happy to be feeling ok, to be racing again and hopefully building from here through the whole season.”
The 27-year old Ganong is looking forward to the upcoming races in front of his home crowd in Colorado. “Beaver Creek is more my hill, I love it there, I know the hill very well now and I have a lot of confidence there, so that’s a goal for sure.”
Surprisingly, Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) missed the podium after dominating the speed races last year.. The athletes will have second chance in Lake Louise, as a super-G is scheduled tomorrow at 11.00 local time (19.00 CET).
Click here for full results.