Cuche nips Guay for Garmisch win, Bode punished
The record for oldest man to win a World Cup race got another week added on when Didier Cuche outperformed the field in a fog shortened “sprint” at Garmisch Saturday (Jan 28) for his second straight downhill win, his third win of the season and 20th of his career.
The finish, with Erik Guay second, reversed the order of last season's World Championship race on an adjoining course. Historically Garmisch has been good to Canadian Guay and that trend held, getting his first podium of the season. Austria again missed the top spot but had Hannes Reichelt in third.
All three had to wait until the 46th skier came down to get comfortable as Bode Miller was dropped back from start 16 to that start position as punishment for being late for the public bib draw. The race start was moved to the super G start due to fog blanketing the top of the course, a move anticipated by weather forecasts and mentioned as a possibility at the Team Captain's meeting the previous night.
It was a tight line and the usual impeccable execution that brought Cuche, 37 years-five months, his first win at Garmisch since 2004. While others tried to attack the Kandahar 2 course, missing the line made for a bumpier, more difficult track. Cuche took over the lead of the downhill standings from teammate Beat Feuz, the 23rd finisher on the day.
Guay ran into trouble when he "booted out" had a boot touch the snow and fell to his hip. "I said 'It's over'," Guay said. "Then my skis hooked up and I stood up and said 'Aw I can probably make that next gate. If you give me that 20 times I probably can't repeat that, but I pulled it off and actually had some pretty good speed coming out. I knew I had to push the rest of the course and stay low, but at the bottom I was pretty surprised (to discover he was winning).
Cuche gave credit to his serviceman for "really, really fast skis" and said he knew he needed to be particularly fast on the middle part of the course, which is where he hit the line perfectly and maintained form on the one major jump.
Jan Hudec continued to ski strong in a comeback season finishing 12th. Miller was forced to deal with a much beat-up track when he ran late and finished 35th and out of the points. Travis Ganong led the US in 27th place with Marco Sullivan 28th. Erik Fisher just missed points in 32nd.
Sullivan had missed the final training run after "tweaking" his back training GS Friday morning. "It's the same issue I've had. I'm accustomed to it. It happens, I get in the pool, I get into physio right away. ... Once I was on course it wasn't a problem. I got bounced around like everyone else was. It was good most of the way and then I lost it on that last right turn and ended up 1.2 out."
by Hank McKee
Men's World Cup Downhill, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Jan. 28, 2012
1 Cuche, Head/Head/Head
2 Guay, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Reichelt, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
4 Innerhofer, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
4 Sporn, Elan/Lange/Elan
6 Paris, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
7 Clarey, Head/Head/Head
8 Kroell, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
9 Theaux, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
10 Kueng, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
10 Puchner, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
Men's World Cup Downhill, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Jan. 28, 2012. ... It is the 24th race of the men's 45, now 44, 2012 World Cup schedule. ... It is the seventh of 11 Downhills of the schedule the sixth held. ... It is the 91st Cup race at Garmisch. ... the 35th DH. ... Garmisch also hosted World Championships in '78 and last season and the 1936 Olympics.
It is the 20th career World Cup win for Didier Cuche, extending his record as oldest race winner to 37 years, five months and 12 days. ... It is 12th DH win, third among Swiss males all-time (Peter Mueller 19, Franz Heinzer 15). ... It is his third win of the season, all in DH.
It is the 16th career World Cup podium result for Erik Guay. ... His fourth at Garmisch (plus the World Championship DH gold medal last season). ... It is his tenth Cup DH podium and his first of the season, though he has been top 10 five times.
It is the 16th career World Cup podium for Hannes Reichelt. ... his third in DH. ... It is his career best Cup result at Garmisch but he also won a silver medal in SG at Worlds last season. .... It is his fourth Cup podium of the season, third in DH.
North Americans: It is the 15th time Jan Hudec has made the top dozen in a World Cup race. ... ten of those coming in DH. ... It is his second best Cup DH result at Garmisch having placed fifth Feb. 24, 2007. ... He matches his fourth best result of the season. ... It is the third best career Cup result for Benjamin Thomsen and his best of the season. ... It is the first career Cup scoring result for Conrad Pridy. ... It is the fifth best of nine career Cup scoring results for Travis Ganong. ... his fourth of the season. ... It is the 55th career Cup scoring result for Marco Sullivan. ... his sixth score of the season and fifth in DH.
Standings: Ivica Kostelic (did not race) leads the World Cup overall standings 906-825 over Marcel Hirscher (did not race). ... Beat Feuz (23rd in race) is third overall with 673pts. ... Ted Ligety (did not race) is fourth with 578pts and Bode Miller eighth with 450pts. ... Guay leads Canada in 19th with 276pts. ... Cuche leads the downhill standings 377-308 for Feuz. ... Klaus Kroell (eighth in race) is third with 297pts. ... Miller is fifth with 221pts, Guay seventh with 200. ... Austria leads the mens' Nations Cup 3955-2406 over Switzerland. ... Italy is third with 2157. ... The US is fifth with 1389 and Canada ninth with 805pts.
FIS World Cup
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||FIS Points|
|31||21||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||1:10.43||25.60|
|Did not finish 1st run|