The first men’s downhill training in Are, ahead of the World Championships downhill race on Saturday, is in the books. In the morning, the weather was the opposite of ideal downhill weather. Strong winds at the top, light snowfall overnight and very bad visibility. So the start had to be moved down to the super-g start. But as the day went on, the sky cleared and by start time at 12:30 the conditions were really good.
The double Olympic champion Matthias Mayer is the one who clocked the fastest time. After he skied out in the super-g yesterday, the Carinthian was eager to show that he’s in the mix for the next speed race. Mayer tied for the win at the last downhill held in Are during the World Cup Finals last season, but failed to podium in that discipline so far this season.
Another Austrian finished in second place today. Even though he missed a gate, veteran Hannes Reichelt was +0.28 off Mayer’s pace today. The super-g World Champion from 2015 is not so satisfied with his season so far, as despite a good speed he always made mistakes in the races and couldn’t show his best performances.
In third position of today’s training, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde leads the “Norwegian pack” in the results, with Kjetil Jansrud in 4th and Aksel Lund Svindal in 5th. With 4 World Cup podiums and one victory in Val Gardena under his belt, Kilde can proudly call him the most successful Norwegian speed skier so far this season. Even though Jansrud had surgery on his hand two weeks ago and Svindal sat out some races because of pain in his knee, Kilde seems on fire and ready to take over after Svindal’s retirement on Saturday.
The second downhill training is scheduled tomorrow between the two runs of the ladies’ alpine combined. Things will get serious on Saturday, when the men switch to race mode for their World Championships downhill.
Results are available here: Downhill TRA 1