In contrast to Friday’s sunshine, clouds and flat light were the name of the game on Saturday for the second men’s downhill in Kvitfjell, Norway. Hometown hero Kjetil Jansrud gave the Norwegian crowd what they were all hoping for as he took the win with a time of 1:47.63, a slim 0.08 seconds ahead of Italy’s Peter Fill in second. Reigning Downhill World Champion, Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, rounded out the podium in third, 0.14 seconds shy of the win.
Fortunately for the 58 men on the start list, despite the high cloud cover and flat light, there was no need to lower the start like on Friday and racing got off without a hitch from the normal start at noon CET. Wearing the red leader’s bib and kicking out of the gate fifth, it was clear that Jansrud was eager to improve on his third-place result from the day before as the Attacking Viking took to the course with aggression and composure, steadily building his lead at each interval until crossing the line well into the lead. Two racers later, Fill took to the course and thanks to a strong bottom section almost stole the victory, sliding into second place, only 0.08 seconds back. Feuz, on the other hand, was leading at the upper splits before his advantage slipped away approaching the finish and the big Swiss had to settle for third.
Jansrud grew up just north of Kvitfjell and now sits 33 points clear of Fill in the downhill standings with only World Cup finals in Aspen, Colo. left on the schedule. Although he is confident in his chances to walk away with the crystal globe, Jansrud knows he must bring his A-game to Aspen if he is going to end the downhill season a happy man.
“I know this hill very well,” Jansrud explained. “It’s not just home because it’s in Norway. It’s home because I grew up here, so it’s a big thing and I think the last time (a Norwegian) won on a Saturday here was Lasse (Kjus) twenty years ago, so this is a big Norwegian day. It’s amazing and probably one of my biggest wins. I even won my first World Cup race here, so there are a lot of good memories in Kvitfjell. Magnificent day and also grabbing a bigger lead in the red jersey, thirty points means that if Fill wins in Aspen and I’m third then it’s all gone, so it means it’s going to be exciting.”
Fill also understands just how close the downhill standings are and after being visibly upset with his 16th-place finish on Friday was happy to make his way back to the podium on day two in Kvitfjell. If all goes according to plan for the Italian in Aspen, Fill is more than capable of defending his downhill title from last season.
“Yesterday I made a big mistake and lost the speed on the top and then it was difficult to go fast, but today was a good run and all together everything worked good and I’m really happy with my second place,” Fill said. “Now I am close to Jansrud for the big fight for the globe in Aspen. I have only one goal: to beat him there, so let us see what’s going to happen. I know what I need to do, full attack and when I have luck, maybe I can re-win the globe.”
Feuz has had a a stellar last month on the World Cup and is looking forward to some well-deserved rest once the season wraps up in Aspen.
“We started from the very top today, this is definitively an advantage for me; I feel better on the whole track,” Feuz said. “Unfortunately, I was not very good in the lower part and made a mistake in the last section, but in general, it was a very good run. It has been a great season for me, especially the World Champion title in front of my home crowd was amazing. I had some struggles early season in the World Cup, but then with the podium in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and now also in Kvitfjell, I’m satisfied with my season.”
Travis Ganong led the Americans once again with a 17th place finish, followed closely by Bryce Bennett in 19th. Andrew Weibrecht was the only other American finisher in 41st. Jared Golberg suffered a big crash seconds into his run but was able to ski off under his own power. Canada’s Manuel Osborne-Paradis and Erik Guay also continued their fast skiing in fourth and sixth, respectively.
Young Norwegian racer Alexander Sannes Thorsen suffered a crash on the upper section of the course and had to be airlifted off of the hill. Thorsen was transported to Ullevaal University Hospital in Olso and it has been determined that the 21-year-old Norwegian has suffered a spinal fracture that may require surgery, according to Norwegian team doctor Marc Strauss.
The men now race super-G in Kvitfjell on Sunday, Feb. 26.
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- Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) – Head/Head/Head
- Peter Fill (ITA) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Beat Feuz (SUI) – Head/Head/Head
- Manuel Osborne-Paradis (CAN) – Head/Head/Head
- Carlo Janka (SUI) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
- Erik Guay (CAN) – Head/Head/Head
- Bostjan Kline (SLO) – Stoeckli/Head/Atomic
- Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Dominik Paris (ITA) – Nordica/Nordica/Marker
- Vincent Kreichmayr (AUT) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||Diff.||FIS Points||WC Points|
|8||12||422139||KILDE Aleksander Aamodt||1992||NOR||1:48.26||+0.63||7.32||32.00|
|46||50||6290540||DE VETTORI Matteo||1993||ITA||1:50.21||+2.58||29.96|
|47||54||110324||VON APPEN Henrik||1994||CHI||1:50.51||+2.88||33.45|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|56||422483||THORSEN Alexander Sannes||1996||NOR|