BEAVER CREEK, Colo. – Kjetil Jansrud looks to have the Birds of Prey’s number. On another Colorado day filled with sunshine and mild temperatures, Jansrud won his second training run in a row, setting the pace at 1:42.87 seconds. The Norwegian was 0.15 seconds ahead of Italian Peter Fill who was also second in last weekend’s Lake Louise downhill.
“I’m feeling confident. I skied normal, not trying to do anything special,” Jansrud said. “I didn’t do any big mistakes, I felt like I skied OK the whole way, and it looks to be fast so that always gives me confidence.”
Jansrud, last year’s defending downhill champion, took time to explain his tactical approach to training runs. Many racers will show a little gamesmanship and hide their real speed by standing up or turning before crossing the finish line. Did Jansrud take part in the mind games?
“No, not at all. I go with what I have, and I think most people do that in the last training run,” he explained. “For me, it’s way better to attack it and then try to improve from that position than just taking it easy and never knowing what’s going to hit you on race day. I’d rather go fast every day.”
For Fill, his newfound love of the snow and tracks in North America continued with a strong showing today, perhaps foreshadowing future success this week.
“I have a good feeling here, I tried to go full gas,” he said. “Unfortunately, I’m second today but it shows that I need to be even more aggressive tomorrow, adjust the last details, and ski strong. I hope I can go for a podium this weekend. My shape is good but you know, mistakes happen quickly and since we ski at the limit it immediately costs a lot of time. But I’ll try, and I think it’s possible.”
Last season’s World Championship silver medalist on this track, Travis Ganong, led the Americans with a solid sixth-place finish, setting himself up nicely for the race following his third and fourth-place finishes last weekend in Lake Louise.
“I definitely have the hill kind of dialed, pushing today and looking for speed, which is nice,” Ganong said. “I eased into things yesterday and now it’s time to add the speed.”
Ganong broke his thumb and was operated on in the days before heading up to Lake Louise, but is confident that it will be a non-factor come tomorrow.
“It’s good. Actually, that run in Talon Turn I went down on my side and punched the snow. I kind of tweaked my thumb. I tested it out there, I guess it’s OK – should be fine for tomorrow.”
Ganong also spoke of the track seeming to have more speed and terrain in sections than in years past, which could explain the high number of athletes missing gates in the training runs.
“Yeah, it’s a bit different. I feel like it’s almost faster. It’s faster coming off the pitch through Pete’s Arena into Pumphouse and into Russi’s Ride. That whole section just feels hectic to me for some reason; normally it’s pretty smooth and flowy. Right now, it’s really fast and there are little pieces of terrain that can kick you. That’s the key section, too, so you can carry your speed through the flats.”
Racing action gets underway in Beaver Creek Friday with the downhill starting at 10:45 am local MST.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||Diff.|
|4||21||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||1:43.63||+0.76|
|13||55||422139||KILDE Aleksander Aamodt||1992||NOR||1:44.78||+1.91|
|16||63||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA||1:44.98||+2.11|
|29||35||194542||GIRAUD MOINE Valentin||1992||FRA||1:45.49||+2.62|
|37||48||380292||ZRNCIC DIM Natko||1986||CRO||1:45.69||+2.82|
|54||69||990116||DE ALIPRANDINI Luca||1990||ITA||1:46.86||+3.99|
|55||62||110324||VON APPEN Henrik||1994||CHI||1:46.92||+4.05|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not finish 1st run|