Walchhofer wins Val Gardena super G, Guay third for Canada


Michael Walchhofer had won twice before in super G, and one of those was at Val Gardena. But this win, six years after his first SG win on the track in 2004, was an unexpected kiss for his farewell tour.

Walchhofer dominated the field on a slick Saslong track and in a light snowfall with a .67 of a second margin over German Stephan Keppler, left still looking for his first Cup win but reveling in making his first podium.

Defending World Cup super G champion Erik Guay was third, his first venture into a top 10 this season, keeping him in sight of the tour leaders.

Guay said the course was “good firm snow,” adding that it started snowing, “about 15 (starters) which didn’t effect me that much but I think it slowed things down for the later skiers. Visibility wasn’t great, but they put a lot of color on the course.”

He said the result might have been better but entering the Mauer, “…it’s a blind gate and I aimed for the outside gate and not the inside. That may have cost me.”

Walchhofer credited a relaxed attitude for helping him with the success he has already experienced this season. He said his exit of the Ciaslat was “really perfect,” and immediately set his sites on winning the Val Gardena downhill on Saturday (Dec. 18).

It was the fourth win for Walchhofer at Val Gardena, matching him with Franz Klammer and Kristian Ghedina for the record. A win in the downhill would give him that record alone.

Visibility continued to deteriorate throughout the race, but as gray as it was, the day was still a good one for the Austrians. Aside from Walchhofer the team got fourth from Benjamin Raich and fifth from Romed Baumann, plus two additional top 10 finishes from Klaus Kroell and Georg Streitberger.

Bode Miller again led the U.S. Team, but again not in the fashion he’d like. A critical error on course left him scrambling to regain his line and he dropped two seconds off Walchhofer’s pace to finish 16th, just behind Canadian Manuel Osborne-Paradis. Marco Sullivan got his first point of the season in 30th. The rest of the U.S. squad was lodged between Steven Nyman in 40th and Andrew Weibrecht in 48th.

“Bode was putting the hammer down, really hard,” said coach Sasha Rearick. “He wanted to go as hard as he could.” Rearick said Miller got too tight on a delay gate at the Mauer section of the course. “It was just too aggressive for that situation and he just couldn’t bring back.”

That was a killer mistake as the Mauer leads to a flat before entering the Camel bumps. “Once he got back up to speed,” Rearick said, “he skied really well.”

The coach said Marco Sullivan has been improving every race, but still isn’t where the coaches expect him to be. “He’s committing more down the fall line and looking for speed which is good to see, but he’s not skiing as fast as we know he can and will.”

There were a handful of big name DNF’s as Aksel Lund Svindal and Mario Scheiber missed gates and Canadian Robbie Dixon was also registered as did not finish. None appeared badly injured. “Just some bruises,” said Svindal, who felt he would have had a podium result had be completed the race.

Walchhofer photos by GEPA

The SCOOP
by Hank McKee

Equipment
Men’s super G, Val Gardena, Italy, Dec. 17, 2010

Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Walchhofer, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2 Keppler, Head/Head/Head
3 Guay, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4 Raich, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
5 Baumann, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
6 Zurbriggen, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
7 Heel, Head/Head/Head
8 Janka, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9 Streitberger, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
10 Kroell, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon

Men’s World Cup super G, Val Gardena, Italy, Dec. 17, 2010. … It is the 10th race on the original 38 race men’s World Cup schedule. … It is the eighth race held with one cancellation and one postponed race. … It is the third of seven scheduled super G’s. … It is the 70th World Cup event held at least in part at Val Gardena (including parallel slaloms and combineds). … It is the tenth Cup super G at the site. … The last four SG winners (Aksel Svindal ’09, Werner Heel ’08, Didier Cuche ’07 and Bode Miller ’06) are all participating.

It is the 17th career World Cup win for Michael Walchhofer. … His third in super G and second in super G at Val Gardena, the previous coming Dec. 17, 2004. … It is his fourth Cup win at Val Gardena. … It is his second win of the season, the other in DH at Lake Louise.

It is the first career World Cup podium for Stephen Keppler. … His previous best result had been eighth, scored once in DH at Lake Louise (Nov. 25, 2006) and once in super G at Val Gardena (Dec. 15, 2006).

It is the 14th career World Cup podium result for Erik Guay, his sixth in super G. … It is his second SG podium at Val Gardena having finished second in 2005.

Manuel Osborne-Paradis matches his fifth best career World cup SG result. … four of those six results have come in the current calendar year. … He has just one top 10 result, a win at Lake Louise in November 2009. … It is the 12th best World Cup result at Val Gardena for Bode Miller. … Francois Bourque matches his 17th best career Cup SG result. …. It is the 49th career scoring result for Marco Sullivan and his first of the season.

Walchhofer takes the lead of the World Cup overall standings 249-238 over Benjamin Raich (4th in race). … Aksel Lund Svindal (DNF) is third at 236. … Ted Ligety (did not race) is fourth overall with 221pts. … Erik Guay is top Canadian in 25th with 84pts. … Walchhofer leads the super G standings 149-147 over Georg Streitberger (9th in race). … Tobias Gruenenfelder (13th in race) is third at 130. … Guay is 12th with 77pts. … Bode Miller is top U.S. skier on the super G chart in 21st place with 37pts.

Austria extends its lead for the men’s Nations Cup 1549-999 for Switzerland. … France is third at 608. … Canada holds sixth place with 386 and the U.S. seventh with 327pts.

Place   Val
Gardena-Groeden
(ITA)
  Discipline   Super G
Date   17.12.2010   Category   FIS World Cup
Race codex   0743   Gender   M
Valid for FIS Points   YES   TD Name   Gurzeler Thomas (SUI)
       
  
Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time FIS Points
 1  21  50041 WALCHHOFER Michael  1975  AUT   1:34.35  0.00
 2  7  201606 KEPPLER Stephan  1983  GER   1:35.02  7.53
 3  20  102263 GUAY Erik  1981  CAN   1:35.16  9.10
 4  9  50625 RAICH Benjamin  1978  AUT   1:35.32  10.90
 5  1  51215 BAUMANN Romed  1986  AUT   1:35.58  13.82
 6  28  510890 ZURBRIGGEN Silvan  1981  SUI   1:35.68  14.94
 7  26  292514 HEEL Werner  1982  ITA   1:35.74  15.62
 8  18  511313 JANKA Carlo  1986  SUI   1:35.76  15.84
 9  11  50858 STREITBERGER Georg  1981  AUT   1:35.82  16.52
 10  29  50753 KROELL Klaus  1980  AUT   1:35.85  16.85
 11  16  510030 CUCHE Didier  1974  SUI   1:35.95  17.98
 12  13  192746 THEAUX Adrien  1984  FRA   1:36.00  18.54
 13  17  510747 GRUENENFELDER Tobias  1977  SUI   1:36.13  20.00
 14  15  292455 FILL Peter  1982  ITA   1:36.26  21.46
 15  14  102899 OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel  1984  CAN   1:36.32  22.13
 16  10  532431 MILLER Bode  1977  USA   1:36.45  23.59
 17  24  500150 JAERBYN Patrik  1969  SWE   1:36.47  23.82
 18  25  380260 KOSTELIC Ivica  1979  CRO   1:36.61  25.39
 19  31  102814 BOURQUE Francois  1984  CAN   1:36.62  25.50
 20  35  560447 SPORN Andrej  1981  SLO   1:36.65  25.84
 21  45  191591 BERTRAND Yannick  1980  FRA   1:36.77  27.19
 22  30  560332 JERMAN Andrej  1978  SLO   1:36.81  27.64
 23  62  191740 CLAREY Johan  1981  FRA   1:36.87  28.31
 24  27  290998 STAUDACHER Patrick  1980  ITA   1:36.88  28.42
 25  50  293550 MARSAGLIA Matteo  1985  ITA   1:37.00  29.77
 26  39  50600 GOERGL Stephan  1978  AUT   1:37.05  30.33
 27  8  293006 INNERHOFER Christof  1984  ITA   1:37.07  30.56
 28  52  511529 GISIN Marc  1988  SUI   1:37.09  30.78
 29  4  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil  1985  NOR   1:37.13  31.23
 30  6  533131 SULLIVAN Marco  1980  USA   1:37.26  32.69
 31  49  291459 PARIS Dominik  1989  ITA   1:37.27  32.81
 32  32  511352 VILETTA Sandro  1986  SUI   1:37.49  35.28
 32  2  511139 KUENG Patrick  1984  SUI   1:37.49  35.28
 34  41  561087 MARKIC Gasper  1986  SLO   1:37.68  37.41
 35  57  201811 STECHERT Tobias  1985  GER   1:37.72  37.86
 36  38  510498 ZUEGER Cornel  1981  SUI   1:37.73  37.97
 37  46  510767 HOFFMANN Ambrosi  1977  SUI   1:37.74  38.09
 38  61  200379 SANDER Andreas  1989  GER   1:37.83  39.10
 39  33  191746 DE TESSIERES Gauthier  1981  FRA   1:37.84  39.21
 40  56  533866 NYMAN Steven  1982  USA   1:37.88  39.66
 41  36  102271 HUDEC Jan  1981  CAN   1:37.98  40.78
 42  48  193034 BOUILLOT Alexandre  1985  FRA   1:38.10  42.13
 43  53  294911 PATSCHEIDER Hagen  1988  ITA   1:38.12  42.36
 44  60  534939 FISHER Erik  1985  USA   1:38.18  43.03
 44  54  534289 FRANK Chris  1983  USA   1:38.18  43.03
 46  47  103090 HELIE Louis-Pierre  1986  CAN   1:38.34  44.83
 47  43  530874 GANONG Travis  1988  USA   1:38.36  45.05
 48  3  530939 WEIBRECHT Andrew  1986  USA   1:38.47  46.29
 49  40  220656 DRAKE Ed  1986  GBR   1:38.61  47.86
 50  44  561085 KRIZAJ Andrej  1986  SLO   1:38.96  51.79
 51  64  103271 THOMSEN Benjamin  1987  CAN   1:39.02  52.47
 52  55  511142 LUEOEND Vitus  1984  SUI   1:39.28  55.39
 53  58  910004 DEFLORIAN Mirko  1980  MDA   1:39.82  61.45
 54  68  20324 OLIVERAS Marc  1991  AND   1:40.51  69.21
 55  70  670037 ZAKURDAEV Igor  1987  KAZ   1:43.79  106.06
Did not start 1st run
   37  150421 ZAHROBSKY Petr  1980  CZE     
Did not finish 1st run
   69  60159 VAN BUYNDER Frederik  1988  BEL     
   67  700724 BABUSIAK Jaroslav  1984  SVK     
   66  380298 SIROKI Tin  1987  CRO     
   65  491129 TERRA Ferran  1987  SPA     
   63  990081 CASSE Mattia  1990  ITA     
   59  380292 ZRNCIC-DIM Natko  1986  CRO     
   51  501076 OLSSON Hans  1984  SWE     
   42  51327 PUCHNER Joachim  1987  AUT     
   34  50833 GRUGGER Hans  1981  AUT     
   23  560406 GORZA Ales  1980  SLO     
   22  421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund  1982  NOR     
   19  51005 SCHEIBER Mario  1983  AUT     
   12  50742 REICHELT Hannes  1980  AUT     
   5  102961 DIXON Robbie  1985  CAN   

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