Switzerland fastest once again, it's Dominique Gisin this time around
LAKE LOUISE, Canada- Thursday was the third and last day of Downhill training for the ladies in Lake Louise, and there were some Swiss ladies on top again. Dominique Gisin was the fastest coming down the slope, and with a time of 1 minute, 53.04 seconds, 0.19 seconds ahead of Lindsey Vonn and .27 seconds ahead of Wednesday’s leader and teammate Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden.
Today’s training was a bit of a challenge for the ladies, some really flat light made it hard to see the bumps, and some back wind made the slope much faster than the previous days. Comparing the winning time of the first and last training, the course got more than a second and a half faster.
Dominique Gisin and Lake Louise’s relationship go way back. In 2005, it was here that she was first given the chance to compete in a World Cup race. She lost a ski in one run and got hurt in another, but it was not all bad for her that first time around the “big girls”.
“There was not much snow in Europe that year, so the coaches decided to bring me to Canada for some training, I eventually got the chance to start and I remember even winning a training run, with some really high bib number,” she said of her first World Cup experience.
“Coming down the course, it was just so hard to tell what my time would be after crossing the finish line. I’ve had it all in the past days, from coming down two seconds behind, to being in the lead today. I did so many mistakes, and yet I was fast, maybe that’s the thing - I did the mistakes because I was skiing fast,” Gisin said.
Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden was once again able to be among the fastest girls, proving that her name hasn’t been on top of yesterday’s leader board by mistake.
“If only I could keep this speed up for the races, it would be great. It was not easy to ski today, I got some back wind on the flat section, and all of a sudden everything was happening faster than I was expecting. And with the flat light, it made a bumpy ride down the slope,” she said.
Andrea Fischbacher from Austria, who sits in fourth place today, .77 seconds behind Gisin, also found the light to be the biggest challenge of today’s training.
“Finally the slope cleared up from all the soft snow, and as long as you are in the line, you can ski on some really good and compact snow. But it was so dark, you really couldn’t see much of the surface and that was the hardest part of today’s training,” Fischbacher commented.
Elisabeth Goergl lost a ski midway down the slopes and crashed into the nets. She was able to ski down the course on her own, and a first information said that in the impact she might have hurt her thumb.
This was it as far as equipment testing and readjusting to the speed skis for the girls. From Friday on it is race time and things are starting to get serious. With three races scheduled in Lake Louise, and the Val d’ Isere SG rescheduled to Beaver Creek, we will be seeing some exciting speed races.
For full results follow the link.
And stay tuned for tomorrow’s Downhill race, it’s scheduled at 12.30 LOC time (20.30 CET time).
by Ana Jelusic