Svindal podium streak continues in Val Gardena SG
We're now half way through the men's World Cup super G season and Aksel Lund Svindal doesn't have a finish worse than second.
The powerful Viking took control of the Val Gardena super G with a dazzling combination of skill and daring, gaining speed even while recovering from errors for a huge 1.07 margin, pushing the home standing Italians off the top step of the podium in no uncertain fashion.
He also pushed Norway's greatest all-time skier, Kjetil Andre Aamodt off the top of his country's super G win list.
"On the top part, I charged hard and I didn't make mistakes, so I was 30 seconds ahead, so that's where I laid the base for winning the race, I guess," said Svindal. "You had to ski aggressively and that's exactly what I did."
That, however, wasn't that easy a task.
Val Gardena is a dark race in the best of conditions, and today (Dec. 14) the conditions included an incoming snow storm and fog that made the many bumps all but invisible for the 66 men that contested her flanks.
Matteo Marsaglia finished second - he won the Beaver Creek SG - with a well crafted run that approached perfection and in third was local hero Werner Heel who displayed bravery with his aggressive approach. Svindal combined the best parts of both of their runs.
Marsaglia said he had been confident he could win at Beaver Creek, but was less so on this hill. "I am truly surprised by my own performance today. I knew I could win in Beaver Creek but I was less convinced of it here today. Let's say it is a nice surprise for me. ...
Svindal is in a class by himself."
That last statement is born out by the times. Svindal's margin was 1.07. The next 20 finishers finished within a second of second place.
Svindal teammate Kjetil Jansrud posted fourth and Frenchman Adrien Theaux fifth. The Austrians were kept from claiming a men's speed win for the fifth straight race being led by Matthias Mayer in sixth and Klaus Kroell in seventh. The Swiss fared even worse, their best finisher Silvan Zurbriggen in a tie for 14th.
Canadians led the North American charge with Jan Hudec 12th and Erik Guay 14th, though perhaps the best Canadian run of the day came from Manuel Osborne-Paradis scoring 18th from the 52nd start.
There were signs of hope for a US group fighting to gain the start numbers they need to be competitive. Travis Ganong started 58th and finished 24th, a placing better than eight starting Ted Ligety. Thomas Biesemeyer posted 27th wearing bib 35 and Steven Nyman finished 29th with bib 59. Andrew Weibrecht, the first American out of the start, finished in a tie for 30th and the last point available.
"I've had great speed in training all summer long, so I approached it like another training run, just be relaxed, not think about it, just look ahead and react. just tried to go for it as hard as I could," said Ganong, who was looking ahead to the downhill where he'll start much closer to the first group. "It's hard from that far back. You need a strong strong run to punch it in there." -hm
by Hank McKee
Men's World Cup super G, Val Gardena, Italy, Dec. 14, 2012
1 Svindal, Head/Head/Head
2 Marsaglia, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
3 Heel, Head/Head/Head
4 Jansrud, Head/Head/Head
5 Theaux, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
6 Mayer, Head/Head/Head
7 Kroell, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
8 Clarey, Head/Head/Head
9 Puchner, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
10 Innerhofer, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
Men's World Cup super G, Val Gardena, Italy, Dec. 14, 2012. ... It is the 12th of 73 races on the 2012-13 World Cup schedule. ... the tenth of 40 on the men's calendar. ... the third of six scheduled super G's. ... It is the 73rd Cup race hosted, at least in part, at Val Gardena. ... the 12th super G, all mens races.
It is the 19th career World Cup win for Aksel Lund Svindal moving him past Lasse Kjus into second place on the all time Norwegian win list. ... He trails Kjetil Andre Aamodt's 21 wins. ... It is his eighth super G win, moving him ahead of Aamodt to first among Norwegian racers. ... It is his second win at Val Gardena having also captured the SG Dec. 18, 2009. ... It is his third win and fifth podium of the season all coming in either DH or SG.
It is the second career Cup podium for Matteo Marsaglia, the previous coming at Beaver Creek 13 days earlier. ... his previous best at Val Gardena was 23rd in super G last December.
It is the eighth career Cup podium placing for Werner Heel, his first since finishing third in the Kitzbuehel downhill Jan. 23, 2010. ... It is the first time Italians have had two skiers on the same Cup podium since Jan. 6, 2010 in a slalom at Zagreb (Giuliano Razzoli first, Manfred Moelgg second).
It is the third best of four scoring results at Val Gardena for Jan Hudec. ... The 13th best of 15 Val Gardena scores for Erik Guay. ... It is the tenth best of 12 Val Gardena results for Manuel Osborne-Paradis. ... It is the second best career SG result for Travis Ganong. ... The 15th best of 17 for Ted Ligety. ... It is the second best of four career scoring results for Thomas Biesemeyer, all coming in SG. ... and three coming this season. ... It is the 12th Cup SG score for Steven Nyman. ... the 13th for Andrew Weibrecht.
Svindal leads the World Cup overall standings 540-408 over Ligety (25th in race). ... Marcel Hirscher (did not race) is third overall with 380. ... Guay is the top Canadian in 19th with 122pts. ... Svindal leads the super G standings 280-209 for Marsaglia. ... Heel is third with 150pts. ... Ligety is top US skier in sixth with 106 and Guay the top Canadian in 11th with 66pts. ... Austria leads the men's Nations Cup 1774-1312 for Italy. ... Norway is third with 882pts. ... The US is fifth with 612 and Canada eighth with 288pts.
Val Gardena-Groeden (ITA)
FIS World Cup
Men's Super G
Dec. 14, 2012
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||FIS Points|
|1||17||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||1:36.95||0.00|
|26||27||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA||1:39.53||27.94|
|47||3||191746||DE TESSIERES Gauthier||1981||FRA||1:40.51||38.56|
|54||60||400281||VAN HEEK Marvin||1991||NED||1:40.95||43.32|
|57||57||491151||DE LA CUESTA Paul||1988||SPA||1:41.18||45.81|
|Did not finish 1st run|