Norway's Svindal edges Raich, Rahlves for first career World Cup win


Norway’s Svindal edges Raich, Rahlves for first career World Cup win{mosimage}Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal won the men’s season-opening World Cup super G on Sunday, his first career victory.

The 22nd skier out of the start hut, Svindal timed 1 minute, 26.04 seconds on the men’s Olympic course at Lake Louise, then had to wait for the discipline’s top contenders to know if his time would hold.

Austrian Benjamin Raich, runner-up to American Bode Miller in the World Cup overall standings last season, finished second in 1:26.11, while American Daron Rahlves placed third, just .08 off the pace.

“It was tough to wait and watch,” Svindal said. “My stomach was going around and around. But it was worth the wait.”

Miller, who swept both the downhill and super G here last season for his first career victories in the speed disciplines, looked like he might repeat, leading by .04 at the top interval. However, the reigning World Cup super G champion fell onto his right hip and skidded several meters before remarkably bouncing back up and quickly getting back into his tuck. But the mistake cost him heavily and he finished 1.31 behind.

“As soon as you do that your race is over,” said Miller, who last winter became the first American, man or woman, to win the super G season title.
Last winter, Miller won the first three races on the calendar. This season, he was runner-up to Austrian star Hermann Maier in the giant slalom in Soelden, Austria last month, placed 22nd in Saturday’s downhill, and 18th in Sunday’s super G.

Maier, a three time winner of the super G on this hill, seemed to be having a good run until a spectacularly wide turn left him trailing by 1.50.

“I guess I had a lot of speed at this point and I tried today to make this section at full speed,” said Maier, who finished fourth in Saturday’s downhill despite a lingering ankle injury he suffered while training in New Zealand. “It wasn’t the right decision and I was very far from the fastest line. But I enjoyed my ride because I had the whole slope to myself.

“For sure it’s a disappointment but I can’t be too disappointed because I had great races in the giant slalom and the downhill. I’m skiing well in super G and would have done well except for this mistake. The skiing is good and the adjustment between the skiing and the equipment is going well. This is important for me and it was my goal for me in the first speed races.”

The men next travel to Beaver Creek, Colorado for the annual Birds of Prey World Cup, which includes the first slalom of the season and the second downhill, super G and GS starting Thursday.

- The Associated Press

Men’s super G
Lake Louise, Alberta
Nov. 27, 2005

1. Aksel Lund Svindal, Norway, 1 minute, 26.04 seconds.
2. Benjamin Raich, Austria, 1:26.11.
3. Daron Rahlves, United States, 1:26.12.
4. Ambrosi Hoffmann, Switzerland, 1:26.35.
5. Kjetil Andre Aamodt, Norway, 1:26.36.
6. Marco Buechel, Liechtenstein, 1:26.49.
7. Fritz Strobl, Austria, 1:26.66.
8. Hannes Reichelt, Austria, 1:26.75.
9. Patrik Jaerbyn, Sweden, 1:26.83.
10. Michael Walchhofer, Austria, 1:26.92.
11. Erik Guay, Canada, 1:26.94.
12. Andreas Schifferer, Austria, 1:27.05.
13. Patrick Staudacher, Italy, 1:27.10.
14. Christoph Gruber, Austria, 1:27.12.
15. Bruno Kernen, Switzerland, 1:27.13.
16. Johann Grugger, Austria, 1:27.27.
17. Lasse Kjus, Norway, 1:27.28.
18. Bode Miller, United States, 1:27.35.
19. Didier Cuche, Switzerland, 1:27.37.
20. Peter Fill, Italy, 1:27.43.
21. Hermann Maier, Austria, 1:27.54.
(tied) Matthias Lanzinger, Austria, 1:27.54.
23. Tobias Gruenenfelder, Switzerland, 1:27.57.
24. Bjarne Solbakken, Norway, 1:27.59.
25. Stephan Goergl, Austria, 1:27.82.
26. Francois Bourque, Canada, 1:27.84.
27. Alessandro Fattori, Italy, 1:27.92.
28. Werner Heel, Italy, 1:28.12.
29. Silvan Zurbriggen, Switzerland, 1:28.17.
30. Juerg Gruenenfelder, Switzerland, 1:28.19.

Other North Americans
35. Justin Johnson, USA 1:29.21
38. Steve Nyman, USA 1:29.40
39. Jeff Hume, CAN 1:29.49
DNF: John Kucera, Brad Spence, Manuel Osborne-Paradis, CAN; Scott Macartney, USA.

World Cup super G standings
(After 1 event)

1. Aksel Lund Svindal, Norway, 100.
2. Benjamin Raich, Austria, 80.
3. Daron Rahlves, United States, 60.
4. Ambrosi Hoffmann, Switzerland, 50.
5. Kjetil Andre Aamodt, Norway, 45.
6. Marco Buechel, Liechtenstein, 40.
7. Fritz Strobl, Austria, 36.
8. Hannes Reichelt, Austria, 32.
9. Patrik Jaerbyn, Sweden, 29.
10. Michael Walchhofer, Austria, 26.

Others
21. Hermann Maier, Austria, 10.

World Cup overall standings
(After 4 events)

1. Aksel Lund Svindal, Norway, 164 points.
2. Hermann Maier, Austria, 160.
3. Fritz Strobl, Austria, 136.
4. Benjamin Raich, Austria, 130
5. Kjetil Andre Aamodt, Norway, 125.
6. Bode Miller, United States, 102.
7. Marco Buechel, Liechtenstein, 100.
8. Michael Walchhofer, Austria, 72.
9. Ambrosi Hoffmann, Switzerland, 68.
10. Bruno Kernen, Switzerland, 61.
11. Daron Rahlves, United States, 60.
(tied) Rainer Schoenfelder, Austria, 60.
13. Andreas Schifferer, Austria, 54.
14. Francois Bourque, Canada, 50.
15. Hannes Reichelt, Austria, 48.1.

THE SCOOP
By Hank McKee

Equipment
Men’s World Cup super G, Lake Louise, Nov. 27, 2005

1. Svindal, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2. Raich, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3. Rahlves, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4. Hoffmann, Stoeckli/Atomic/Atomic
5. Aamodt, Dynastar/Lange/Tyrolia
6. Buechel, Head/Lange/Tyrolia
7. Strobl, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
8. Reichelt, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9. Jaerbyn, Fischer/Atomic/Fischer
10. Walchhofer, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

Men’s super G, Lake Louise, Canada, Nov. 27, 2005
It is the third race of the men’s 34 race, 4 combined World Cup schedule… It is the first of six scheduled super G’s. … It is the second of two men’s races scheduled at Lake Louise. … There are also three women’s races scheduled through Dec. 4. …

It is the first career World Cup victory for Aksel Lund Svindal. … He owns one additional podium, in combined at Kitzbuehel Jan. 26, 2003. … He has 14 total World Cup top-10 results. … He has been in the top 11 of all three races this season, having placed 6th in the Lake Louise DH and 11th in the opening GS at Soelden. … He is 22 years of age and finished the 2005 season ranked 11th in SG, 21st overall.

It is the 47th career podium for Benjamin Raich, but it is his career-best SG result, the previous best having been 3rd at Val Gardena Dec. 17, 2004 and fourth four times (in SG), all last season.

It is the 22nd career podium for Daron Rahlves, the last previous coming in the SG at Finals last season (Lenzerheide).

It is the 10th time Canada’s Erik Guay has placed 11th or better. … Bode Miller’s 18th place is the 14th best of 23 scoring results in SG. … It is the 11th career scoring result in all disciplines for Francois Bourque. … It is the worst Cup SG finish for Hermann Maier ever.

The top 11 skiers were all in the same second. … Top 27 within 2 seconds. … Svindal takes the overall lead from Hermann Maier 164-160. … Fritz Strobl is third at 136 and Raich 4th at 130. … Bode Miller is the top American in sixth with 102, behind Kjetil Andre Aamodt’s 125.

Only Austrians or Americans had won a men’s SG since Lasse Kjus Dec. 3 at Val Gardena (13 straight). … Werner Heel, in 28th place, is the top skier starting outside of the first-seed (30) skiers. … Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup 844-332 over Norway… The U.S. is third at 219 and the Swiss fourth at 214.

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