Wengen sprint downhill crowns Kueng champion


Kueng on the shortened Lauberhorn (GEPA/Wolfgang Grebien)

Kueng on the shortened Lauberhorn (GEPA/Wolfgang Grebien)

Some, but not all, of the magic was scrubbed off the 84th Lauberhorn when nature reminded us all of just who is in charge here.

High winds on the upper reaches of the famed course resulted in some last-minute scrambling, forcing organizers to move the start down to Canadian Corner, cutting off four and a half football fields’ worth of real estate from what is normally the longest downhill on the World Cup circuit. That pretty much changed everything, including many aspects of line choice as well as chopping more than a minute off the time, essentially producing a sprint.

It worked out well for the hosting Swiss who came to celebrate the event and pack the finish stadium. The bonus was their own Patrick Kueng claiming the win with a well executed run in what was an extremely tight race with the top-15 skiers all within the same second.

Austrian Hannes Reichelt was second, frustratingly for the third time this season. Austria has not won a downhill since Dec. 29, 2012. Tour leader Aksel Lund Svindal posted third, Max Franz was fourth and Bode Miller led the U.S., matching his best speed finish of the season in fifth.

“Bode was four tenths out on the top and then he pushed hard, took a lot of risk and made up time,” said head men’s coach Sasha Rearick. “With that risk he still made some little mistakes, but was pushing hard and letting his skis go. In the Zeil S at the bottom, he got caught back moving over the roll and that’s what cost him a couple of tenths, but it’s nice to see Bode pushing hard in downhill.”

The Lower portion of course, in particular, turned rugged, bumpy enough to collect Carlo Janka’s ski as it released just above the finish. Declining light did not enhance the day for the later skiers either. All of that was of no concern to American Jared Goldberg, who started in bib 40 and charged to the 12th-place finish.

“I’ve been doing well in sections this whole year; but the hard thing is that a lot of the tracks it was my first time there, and I was just trying to learn the track. But this is my second year here and I’ve been down it a few more times. I just feel really comfortable on this hill. The snow was holding up decent so it was something I could really push on and the light didn’t get any worse,” said Goldberg. “I’ve been training some tech, and it’s really helped me work on my skiing and feel more balanced. I was able to attribute that to making good turns. You don’t really see it on TV, but one of the most important parts of the course for carrying your speed is right before you go down the Honeggschuss. I saw the ruts and I just tried to cut inside them and push the line as much as I could.”

Canadian Erik Guay had an uncharacteristic series of mistakes before finally missing a gate and exiting the course without a time.

“We have to be satisfied that there has been a race – and a fair race,” said Svindal, just .01 behind Reichelt and .07 off Kueng’s winning time.

To see photos from this race click here.

 

The Scoop

Men’s World Cup downhill, Wengen, Switzerland, Jan. 18, 2014

Equipment - Skier, skis/boots/bindings

1 Kueng, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon

2 Reichelt, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon

3 Svindal, Head/Head/Head

4 Franz, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

5 Miller, Head/Head/Head

6 Mayer, Head/Head/Head

7 Fill, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

8 Baumann, Blizzard/Tecnica/Marker

9 Clarey, Head/Head/Head

10 Feuz, Head/Head/Head

10 Defago, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol

Men’s World Cup downhill, Wengen, Switzerland, Jan. 18, 2014. … It is the 18th of 34 races on the men’s schedule. … The fifth of nine scheduled downhills. … It is the 84th Annual Lauberhorn Downhill… high winds force shortening of the course.

It is the second career World Cup win for Patrick Kueng, the first was also this season, in SG at Beaver Creek Dec. 7. … His previous best at Wengen in DH was tenth from 2012.

It is the 27th World Cup podium placing for Hannes Reichelt… his fourth of the season. … He has placed second in three downhills this season. … He was third in the Wengen DH last season and second in 2012, giving him three straight seasons on the podium.

It is the 55th career World Cup podium for Aksel Lund Svindal… his fifth of the season (the other four being wins). … It is his second career podium at Wengen, the other a third in combined in 2011.

It is the 110th time Bode Miller has finished in the top five of a World Cup… the third time this season… the 13th time at Wengen. … It is the third career World Cup score for Jared Goldberg and his second in two days. … It is a career-best result for Goldberg. … It is the fourth score of the season, and matches his season’s best finish for Marco Sullivan. … He matches his sixth best result at Wengen. … Travis Ganong matches his second best Wengen result from 2011. … It is his seventh score of the season and fifth of the season in downhill.

Aksel Lund Svindal extends his lead in the World Cup overall standings to 757-675 over Marcel Hirscher (did not race). … Ted Ligety (did not race) is third overall with 433pts. … Bode Miller (fifth in race) is eighth overall with 304pts and Erik Guay (DNF) tenth with 261pts. …

Svindal leads the DH standings 360-260 over Hannes Reichelt. Kueng is third in the DH standings with 221pts. Guay is fourth with 207pts. Miller is 11th with 123pts.

Austria leads the Nations Cup 2892-1945 over France. … Italy is third with 1730pts. … The U.S. is sixth with 1126pts and Canada ninth with 663pts.

 

Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time Diff. FIS Points
 1  12  511139 KUENG Patrick 1984 SUI  1:32.66  0.00
 2  21  50742 REICHELT Hannes 1980 AUT  1:32.72  +0.06  0.89
 3  16  421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund 1982 NOR  1:32.73  +0.07  1.03
 4  10  53817 FRANZ Max 1989 AUT  1:32.90  +0.24  3.55
 5  8  532431 MILLER Bode 1977 USA  1:33.01  +0.35  5.17
 6  2  53902 MAYER Matthias 1990 AUT  1:33.10  +0.44  6.51
 7  13  292455 FILL Peter 1982 ITA  1:33.20  +0.54  7.98
 8  3  51215 BAUMANN Romed 1986 AUT  1:33.26  +0.60  8.87
 9  14  191740 CLAREY Johan 1981 FRA  1:33.28  +0.62  9.17
 10  15  511383 FEUZ Beat 1987 SUI  1:33.40  +0.74  10.94
 10  6  510727 DEFAGO Didier 1977 SUI  1:33.40  +0.74  10.94
 12  40  934643 GOLDBERG Jared 1991 USA  1:33.43  +0.77  11.38
 13  9  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil 1985 NOR  1:33.45  +0.79  11.68
 14  20  192746 THEAUX Adrien 1984 FRA  1:33.50  +0.84  12.42
 15  11  292514 HEEL Werner 1982 ITA  1:33.51  +0.85  12.57
 16  29  533131 SULLIVAN Marco 1980 USA  1:33.65  +0.99  14.64
 17  17  50753 KROELL Klaus 1980 AUT  1:33.68  +1.02  15.08
 18  4  194190 ROGER Brice 1990 FRA  1:33.69  +1.03  15.23
 19  44  54005 STRIEDINGER Otmar 1991 AUT  1:33.71  +1.05  15.52
 20  5  50858 STREITBERGER Georg 1981 AUT  1:33.77  +1.11  16.41
 21  22  293006 INNERHOFER Christof 1984 ITA  1:33.80  +1.14  16.86
 22  48  53936 DUERAGER Markus 1990 AUT  1:33.85  +1.19  17.59
 23  23  51332 SCHEIBER Florian 1987 AUT  1:33.86  +1.20  17.74
 24  37  561067 PERKO Rok 1985 SLO  1:33.87  +1.21  17.89
 25  1  293141 VARETTONI Silvano 1984 ITA  1:33.96  +1.30  19.22
 26  19  291459 PARIS Dominik 1989 ITA  1:33.99  +1.33  19.66
 27  34  511352 VILETTA Sandro 1986 SUI  1:34.03  +1.37  20.26
 28  30  530874 GANONG Travis 1988 USA  1:34.10  +1.44  21.29
 29  24  192932 FAYED Guillermo 1985 FRA  1:34.12  +1.46  21.59
 30  67  561255 CATER Martin 1992 SLO  1:34.17  +1.51  22.33
 31  33  103512 FRISCH Jeffrey 1984 CAN  1:34.21  +1.55  22.92
 32  31  380260 KOSTELIC Ivica 1979 CRO  1:34.23  +1.57  23.21
 33  41  380292 ZRNCIC-DIM Natko 1986 CRO  1:34.28  +1.62  23.95
 34  51  194167 MUZATON Maxence 1990 FRA  1:34.30  +1.64  24.25
 35  28  102899 OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel 1984 CAN  1:34.32  +1.66  24.54
 36  54  511529 GISIN Marc 1988 SUI  1:34.33  +1.67  24.69
 37  65  501076 OLSSON Hans 1984 SWE  1:34.34  +1.68  24.84
 37  36  534939 FISHER Erik 1985 USA  1:34.34  +1.68  24.84
 39  26  560447 SPORN Andrej 1981 SLO  1:34.35  +1.69  24.99
 40  25  51327 PUCHNER Joachim 1987 AUT  1:34.40  +1.74  25.73
 41  32  202059 FERSTL Josef 1988 GER  1:34.43  +1.77  26.17
 42  59  294277 KLOTZ Siegmar 1987 ITA  1:34.50  +1.84  27.20
 42  53  103385 PRIDY Conrad 1988 CAN  1:34.50  +1.84  27.20
 44  61  102961 DIXON Robbie 1985 CAN  1:34.54  +1.88  27.80
 45  7  191964 POISSON David 1982 FRA  1:34.60  +1.94  28.68
 46  47  990081 CASSE Mattia 1990 ITA  1:34.68  +2.02  29.87
 47  46  510890 ZURBRIGGEN Silvan 1981 SUI  1:34.70  +2.04  30.16
 48  49  194542 GIRAUD MOINE Valentin 1992 FRA  1:34.78  +2.12  31.34
 49  27  533866 NYMAN Steven 1982 USA  1:34.79  +2.13  31.49
 50  57  193034 BOUILLOT Alexandre 1985 FRA  1:34.81  +2.15  31.79
 51  55  501439 HEDIN Douglas 1990 SWE  1:34.82  +2.16  31.94
 52  43  481705 GLEBOV Alexander 1983 RUS  1:34.89  +2.23  32.97
 53  66  511513 CAVIEZEL Mauro 1988 SUI  1:34.91  +2.25  33.27
 53  50  103612 PRIDY Morgan 1990 CAN  1:34.91  +2.25  33.27
 55  38  191591 BERTRAND Yannick 1980 FRA  1:34.94  +2.28  33.71
 56  63  150398 BANK Ondrej 1980 CZE  1:34.98  +2.32  34.30
 57  42  6530104 BENNETT Bryce 1992 USA  1:35.00  +2.34  34.60
 58  70  660021 DANILOCHKIN Yuri 1991 BLR  1:35.12  +2.46  36.37
 59  58  103271 THOMSEN Benjamin 1987 CAN  1:35.16  +2.50  36.96
 60  56  201606 KEPPLER Stephan 1983 GER  1:35.21  +2.55  37.70
 61  64  202469 RENZ Fabio 1992 GER  1:35.36  +2.70  39.92
 62  69  670037 ZAKURDAEV Igor 1987 KAZ  1:36.44  +3.78  55.89
 63  68  20267 ESTEVE Kevin 1989 AND  1:36.45  +3.79  56.04
 64  71  370031 ALESSANDRIA Arnaud 1993 MON  1:37.48  +4.82  71.26
Disqualified 1st run
 52  53837 KRAMER Manuel 1989 AUT
 45  220695 CRAWFORD Douglas 1987 GBR
 39  511981 WEBER Ralph 1993 SUI
Did not start 1st run
 62  200379 SANDER Andreas 1989 GER
Did not finish 1st run
 60  202196 BRANDNER Klaus 1990 GER
 35  511313 JANKA Carlo 1986 SUI
 18  102263 GUAY Erik 1981 CAN

 

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