A tough 1st training in St.Moritz
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland – It has been 12 years since the last men’s World Cup events took place in St. Moritz and 11 since the World Championships were held at the exclusive Swiss resort. Ever since, the ladies’ races were held here annually but the men didn’t get a chance to come back. This is until the races originally scheduled in Garmisch-Partenkirchen had to be cancelled due to warm temperatures and lack of snow and St.Moritz was chosen as a replacement venue.
Low visibility, light snowfall, powder on the slope and big jumps marked the first downhill training on this “new” course on the men’s circuit. Despite being called a ladies’ course, it didn’t cut the guys any slack.
Current Overall leader and owner of the red bib in downhill and super-G, Aksel Lund Svindal was the first to admit today was not an easy run.
“It has really been a long time since I last skied here at the World Championships in 2003. Of course I recognize some parts of the course but it snowed a lot last night and that changes things a bit. It’s dark today and it was a difficult training run. There is still some loose snow on the line and you can’t see it before you hit it. A lot of the skiers were skiing out, missing gates and having some troubles; this is for sure partly due to the new course but mostly because of the difficult visibility,” said Aksel Lund Svindal who finished 0.83 seconds behind the fastest time.
Max Franz, who is fresh off his third place in the Kitzbuehel super-G, faced the conditions best and clocked the fastest time of the day. He finished just 0.03 seconds ahead of Bode Miller and 0.16 seconds ahead of teammate Matthias Mayer who were 2nd and 3rd respectively.
“The conditions are difficult, there is snow in the line and the jumps are quite tough, some have a little kicker on them and you had to focus during the whole run as you never knew what was coming next. It was not easy! It’s flat light all the way down and it makes it hard to see the waves, I have never skied this course so it was hard to know what to expect. Normally I like flat courses with these kind of waves but it was only the first training so we will see how things go in the next days,” Franz said of his run.
One more training is scheduled for the guys to get confortable on this slope before race time. This is the last weekend of racing before Sochi and a downhill is scheduled for Saturday while a giant slalom will be taking place on Sunday. Than, it’s Winter Olympics time!