The attacking vikings top first training in Lake Louise
After long months of training, the speed racers could finally have a first test in World Cup race conditions today. Cold temperatures and sunny weather provided a perfect background for this first (out of three) official training.
Today, Aksel Lund Svindal tackeld the course the best and ended his run 0.72 seconds ahead of teammate Kjetil Jansrud. “We had really good training all summer, skiing with Kjetil of course but also with Kilde, the young guy, he is start number 60 but I think he will climb up the ranking pretty soon. So we had a lot of good trainings, I felt we skied good but you never really know until you hit the first training run”, commented Svindal after his run. The Norwegian, who has won 8 globes so far in his career (2x DH, 5x SG, 1x AC), is happy to be back after the Achilles tendon injury that sidelined him last season: “I felt solid, I definitively didn’t take it easy, I tried to do a good run. There are improvements to be done, but I’m happy to come in a see that the time is pretty good too.”
Even though Kjetil Jansrud was happy with his run, he sees potential improvements: “I tried to ski 100% but I didn’t feel like I skied as well as I could have. The first training run in the new season is always a little funky, we’ll keep on pushing in the next days” said Jansrud. “The good thing is that we have very good conditions on the slope, the weather is nice, so this is the best downhill training we get every year. You can train as much as you want in the spring and in autumn but you still don’t get race conditions, so I think these three days will be important trainings and then we’ll make us ready for Saturday”, added last year’s winner of the SG and DH standing.
Canadian Erik Guay, who also just came back from an injury, rounded up the podium 1.63 seconds behind the leader’s time. Even if he doesn’t quite trust himself yet, the 2011 downhill World Champion was happy about today’s event: “I had a good game plan coming in here, I wanted to ski well, feel the race speed again and just reestablish myself among the best skiers of the world and I think I executed well, but there is still some time to be made up to reach Jansrud and Svindal, but I don’t think I can be too greedy, I’m pretty happy with today. I didn’t quite trust myself, I didn’t quite trust my line and looked at the lines on the snow and followed them more than anything but there are certainly some places that I feel like I could cut off a lot more and ski it more aggressively. That’s what I’m going to work on the next few days.”
As predicted by Svindal, the young Kilde Aleksander Aamodt laid down an amazing run and skied to the 6th position out of bib number 60! Gillermo Fayed (FRA, 4th, +1.81), Steven Nyman (USA, 5th, +1.83) and David Poisson (FRA, 6th, +1.87) and Aleksander Aamondt Kilde are the only other athletes who skied within 2 seconds from Svindal.
A second training is scheduled on Thursday November 26th. The weather forecast look great and the athletes all seem eager to correct little mistakes, adjust their lines and go for another training in amazing conditions. Start is scheduled at 11.30 local time (19.30 CET).