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Ganong grabs first career World Cup podium in Kvitfjell

The podium in Kvitfjell (GEPA/Thomas Bachun)

The podium in Kvitfjell (GEPA/Thomas Bachun)

Make no mistake, the Norwegian alpine world revolves around Aksel Lund Svindal, but February has been owned by Kjetil Jansrud and he doesn’t appear to be ready to relinquish anything just yet.

With two Olympic medals from Sochi (and one from 2010 in Whistler) at home, and with the World Cup downhill and overall titles for Svindal in contention, Jansrud rocked a shortened version of the national home course to tie Austrian Georg Streitberger for the win Friday (Feb. 28) at Kvitfjell, his second career World Cup win, both from the Kvitfjell Olympiabakken track.

Travis Ganong, also stealing some spotlight in February from other highly regarded teammates, got his first World Cup podium in third, 0.12 behind the dual winners. Canadian Erik Guay, familiar with success on the track, was fourth, 0.23 behind the winners. Svindal placed fifth, strengthening his position in the World Cup overall standings – where he trails Marcel Hirscher by 13 points – and cementing his second straight downhill title.

“I’m obviously happy we raced today. It’s was foggy with pretty soft snow, but the conditions were really challenging – it was a World Cup caliber race – the terrain was bumpy and the snow was variable. You had to push and ski well to win,” noted Ganong.

The race was held after a shortened training run was squeezed into the schedule at 9:30 a.m. Weather forced the cancellation of the only planned training run the previous day, and it didn’t look good for this morning’s training run either, with blowing snow and fog raising doubts. But the moisture lifted and the snow let up long enough to get the training run off as well as the race, the first of three speed events on the Kvitfjell schedule thanks to a pick-up of a downhill scratched from St. Moritz. A super G is on the schedule for Sunday.

Still, with the race starting below what is normally a major jump on course, there was no room for error. The course was nearly 40 seconds shorter than last season, with the two winners clocking in at 1:05.72. The top 28 finishers were all within a second of that time, and there were four ties in the top 12.

“I have to say, it was a shortened downhill and the conditions were difficult, but I am glad I was able to make 100 points. I pulled number one. I tried to do good and it has paid me,” said Streitberger, the first man down a course that saw very little maintenance since start intervals were tightened as organizers looked warily to the sky. Jansrud said despite the lack of track prep, “from the middle off it was good. For my race number (bib 15) I’m very satisfied and of course happy about my first downhill victory.”

“This is a really big step in my career. I’ve been slowly building up the last four years on the World Cup tour and this last month or so I’ve really been finding some speed. Now I’m at a point where I’m really relaxed and having fun. The good skiing comes out when you’re relaxed and letting the skis roll,” said Ganong. “When I went it was raining and I had to do a goggle wipe halfway down the hill. But on days like today it’s tough you’ve just got to forget about the weather and just ski. You can’t really see anything, so you just have to put your head down and ski.”

Svindal was feeling the pressure of the run for the overall crown. “It was not bad, but not good enough. … I had a small error. If the race is only a minute long then you have to have error-free skiing. The plan was to take the lead today. To be honest it does not run as good as in December and January. I have to fight.”

See more photos from this race in our gallery here

 

THE SCOOP

Men’s World Cup downhill, Kvitfjell, Norway, Feb. 28, 2014

Equipment - Skier, skis/boots/bindings

1 Jansrud, Head/Head/Head

1 Streitberger, Head/Head/Head

3 Ganong, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

4 Guay, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

5 Svindal, Head/Head/Head

6 Fayed, Head/Head/Head

7 Baumann, Blizzard/Tecnica/Marker

7 Striedinger, Blizzard/Tecnica/Marker

9 Varettoni, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

10 Defago, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol

10 Paris, Nordica/Nordica/Marker

Men’s World Cup downhill, Kvitfjell, Norway, Feb. 28, 2014. … It is the 26th race of the men’s 35 race World Cup schedule with nine races remaining. … It is the seventh of nine scheduled downhills. … It is the 51st World Cup race hosted by Kvitfjell, the 25th downhill and the first of three races slated for this season with another downhill and a super G left to contend.

It is the second career World Cup win for Kjetil Jansrud… his first in downhill. … It is his second win at Kvitfjell having won the super G last season. … It is his second win of the season after having earned the gold medal in super G at the Olympics Feb. 16.

It is the third career World Cup win for Georg Streitberger and his first in downhill. … It is his second win at Kvitfjell having won the 2008 super G. His other win is also in super G, scored at Beaver Creek in December 2010. … It is his second podium of the season after a third in SG at Lake Louise Dec. 1.

It is the first career World Cup podium for Travis Ganong, his previous best World Cup finish a sixth in super G at Kitzbuehel Jan. 26. … He was also fifth in the Olympic downhill. … His last seven starts include five top-10 finishes and four finishes of seventh or better.

It is the 28th top four World Cup result for Erik Guay and his fourth at Kvitfjell. … It is his third top four finish of the season, all in downhill, but the other two coming in December. … It is the fifth best downhill result at Kvitfjell for Bode Miller who won in 2008. … It is the second best career finish at Kvitfjell for Steven Nyman. … It is the fourth best finish (third in DH) at Kvitfjell for Marco Sullivan. … It is the seventh best DH result at Kvitfjell lfor Manuel Osborne-Paradis who won the DH in 2009. … It is the seventh career World Cup scoring result for Jeffrey Frisch and his third at Kvitfjell… he is within a second of the lead.

With nine races remaining, Marcel Hirscher (did not race) leads the World Cup overalll standings 955-942 over Aksel Lund Svindal (fifth in race). … Alexis Pinturault (did not race) is third overall with 774pts. … Ted Ligety is fourth with 629pts. … Bode Miller is seventh with 464pts. … Erik Guay leads Canada in 19th with 311pts.

With two races remaining, Svindal leads the downhill standings 485-360 over Hannes Reichelt who has undergone surgery and will not race again this season. … Jansrud and Patrik Kueng (12th in race) are tied for third with 261pts and cannot catch Svindal for the title. Erik Guay is fifth in the downhill standings with 257pts and Bode Miller seventh with 200pts.

Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup 4243-2927 over France. … Norway is third with 2356pts. … The U.S. is fifth at 188pts and Canada ninth with 807pts.

 

RESULTS

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time Diff. FIS Points
 1  15  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil 1985 NOR  1:05.72  0.00
 1  1  50858 STREITBERGER Georg 1981 AUT  1:05.72  0.00
 3  8  530874 GANONG Travis 1988 USA  1:05.84  +0.12  2.50
 4  18  102263 GUAY Erik 1981 CAN  1:05.95  +0.23  4.79
 5  17  421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund 1982 NOR  1:06.09  +0.37  7.71
 6  27  192932 FAYED Guillermo 1985 FRA  1:06.10  +0.38  7.92
 7  5  51215 BAUMANN Romed 1986 AUT  1:06.13  +0.41  8.55
 7  2  54005 STRIEDINGER Otmar 1991 AUT  1:06.13  +0.41  8.55
 9  7  293141 VARETTONI Silvano 1984 ITA  1:06.22  +0.50  10.42
 10  24  510727 DEFAGO Didier 1977 SUI  1:06.23  +0.51  10.63
 10  20  291459 PARIS Dominik 1989 ITA  1:06.23  +0.51  10.63
 12  22  511139 KUENG Patrick 1984 SUI  1:06.28  +0.56  11.67
 12  11  191740 CLAREY Johan 1981 FRA  1:06.28  +0.56  11.67
 14  16  293006 INNERHOFER Christof 1984 ITA  1:06.32  +0.60  12.51
 15  12  53817 FRANZ Max 1989 AUT  1:06.42  +0.70  14.59
 16  13  532431 MILLER Bode 1977 USA  1:06.44  +0.72  15.01
 17  19  192746 THEAUX Adrien 1984 FRA  1:06.45  +0.73  15.22
 18  14  50753 KROELL Klaus 1980 AUT  1:06.47  +0.75  15.63
 18  6  533866 NYMAN Steven 1982 USA  1:06.47  +0.75  15.63
 20  9  292455 FILL Peter 1982 ITA  1:06.49  +0.77  16.05
 21  28  533131 SULLIVAN Marco 1980 USA  1:06.55  +0.83  17.30
 22  23  511383 FEUZ Beat 1987 SUI  1:06.57  +0.85  17.72
 23  4  51332 SCHEIBER Florian 1987 AUT  1:06.59  +0.87  18.14
 24  35  511847 MANI Nils 1992 SUI  1:06.63  +0.91  18.97
 25  3  102899 OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel 1984 CAN  1:06.65  +0.93  19.39
 26  51  194542 GIRAUD MOINE Valentin 1992 FRA  1:06.68  +0.96  20.01
 26  31  510890 ZURBRIGGEN Silvan 1981 SUI  1:06.68  +0.96  20.01
 28  33  103512 FRISCH Jeffrey 1984 CAN  1:06.70  +0.98  20.43
 29  59  294277 KLOTZ Siegmar 1987 ITA  1:06.72  +1.00  20.85
 30  64  422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR  1:06.78  +1.06  22.10
 31  67  561255 CATER Martin 1992 SLO  1:06.82  +1.10  22.93
 32  40  501076 OLSSON Hans 1984 SWE  1:06.88  +1.16  24.18
 33  30  511313 JANKA Carlo 1986 SUI  1:06.89  +1.17  24.39
 34  34  53968 BERTHOLD Frederic 1991 AUT  1:06.94  +1.22  25.43
 35  39  560447 SPORN Andrej 1981 SLO  1:06.95  +1.23  25.64
 35  10  292514 HEEL Werner 1982 ITA  1:06.95  +1.23  25.64
 37  25  51327 PUCHNER Joachim 1987 AUT  1:07.00  +1.28  26.68
 38  47  220695 CRAWFORD Douglas 1987 GBR  1:07.01  +1.29  26.89
 38  44  481705 GLEBOV Alexander 1983 RUS  1:07.01  +1.29  26.89
 40  48  990081 CASSE Mattia 1990 ITA  1:07.05  +1.33  27.73
 41  42  380292 ZRNCIC-DIM Natko 1986 CRO  1:07.06  +1.34  27.93
 42  50  511513 CAVIEZEL Mauro 1988 SUI  1:07.08  +1.36  28.35
 42  26  191964 POISSON David 1982 FRA  1:07.08  +1.36  28.35
 44  32  202059 FERSTL Josef 1988 GER  1:07.11  +1.39  28.98
 44  29  102271 HUDEC Jan 1981 CAN  1:07.11  +1.39  28.98
 46  60  202196 BRANDNER Klaus 1990 GER  1:07.15  +1.43  29.81
 47  37  534939 FISHER Erik 1985 USA  1:07.17  +1.45  30.23
 48  55  103385 PRIDY Conrad 1988 CAN  1:07.26  +1.54  32.10
 49  45  150398 BANK Ondrej 1980 CZE  1:07.28  +1.56  32.52
 50  46  103271 THOMSEN Benjamin 1987 CAN  1:07.35  +1.63  33.98
 51  57  201606 KEPPLER Stephan 1983 GER  1:07.37  +1.65  34.40
 52  52  103612 PRIDY Morgan 1990 CAN  1:07.53  +1.81  37.73
 53  61  380260 KOSTELIC Ivica 1979 CRO  1:07.60  +1.88  39.19
 54  66  530939 WEIBRECHT Andrew 1986 USA  1:07.61  +1.89  39.40
 55  53  194167 MUZATON Maxence 1990 FRA  1:07.71  +1.99  41.48
 56  62  491151 DE LA CUESTA Paul 1988 SPA  1:07.76  +2.04  42.53
 57  38  293550 MARSAGLIA Matteo 1985 ITA  1:07.78  +2.06  42.94
 58  36  511352 VILETTA Sandro 1986 SUI  1:07.80  +2.08  43.36
 59  41  934643 GOLDBERG Jared 1991 USA  1:07.86  +2.14  44.61
 60  58  193034 BOUILLOT Alexandre 1985 FRA  1:07.88  +2.16  45.03
 61  43  100558 COOK Dustin 1989 CAN  1:07.93  +2.21  46.07
 62  56  194368 RAFFORT Nicolas 1991 FRA  1:08.04  +2.32  48.36
 63  65  422134 BJERTNESS Endre 1992 NOR  1:08.18  +2.46  51.28
 64  63  200379 SANDER Andreas 1989 GER  1:08.29  +2.57  53.57
 65  70  170131 FAARUP Christoffer 1992 DAN  1:08.76  +3.04  63.37
Did not finish 1st run
 69  422073 NETELAND Bjoernar 1991 NOR
 68  192504 MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas 1984 FRA
 54  53837 KRAMER Manuel 1989 AUT
 49  53936 DUERAGER Markus 1990 AUT
 21  53902 MAYER Matthias 1990 AUT

Hank McKee

Senior Editor

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