VAL GARDENA, Italy – Defending overall champion Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won a men’s World Cup super-G on Friday for his first podium result of the season.
The Norwegian was 0.12 seconds faster than Mauro Caviezel, the discipline title holder from Switzerland who won the previous race in the French Alps last week.
Kjetil Jansrud finished third, trailing his Norwegian teammate by 0.21, and Olympic champion Matthias Mayer was 0.34 behind in fourth.
It was Kilde’s fifth career win, and third in super-G. He scooped the overall title last season while winning only one race, a super-G in Austria in February.
“It’s nice to get my first win so soon this time. We can work a bit more relaxed now and hopefully some more wins will follow,” said Kilde, who contracted the coronavirus after the season-opening race in Austria in October.
The Norwegian team usually does well in the Italian resort, winning the super-G for a ninth time. No other nation has more than four race wins in Val Gardena.
“We know this course well. It’s technically demanding and we are all-round skiers, so this suits us,” Kilde said. “The speed is there so if it all fits, you win the race.”
Overall World Cup leader Alexis Pinturault sat out the race. The Frenchman was overtaken by Swiss skier Marco Odermatt, who finished ninth in the race 0.98 seconds behind Kilde.
Odermatt has 290 points and leads Pinturault by 14. Kilde is 55 points back in third.
Ryan Cochran-Siegle was the top American finisher in eighth. Jared Goldberg and Travis Ganong were next best in 23rd and 25th, respectively. James Crawford was the top Canadian in 27th.
“My main focus was just to carry speed as much as I could—trusting that, not trying to be perfect and letting it go, letting it flow,” said Cochran-Siegle. “I think I executed in places pretty well. Obviously still a good amount of time off the top Norwegian, so there’s still a lot to learn, but I had fun with it and trusted it and really enjoyed it. I think between my set up and approach to the whole day, it was a good day.”
A downhill on the same hill is scheduled for Saturday, as Italy is hosting five World Cup races in as many days, with technical events in Alta Badia and Madonna di Campiglio to follow until Tuesday.
World Cup – Men’s super G – Val Gardena – Dec. 18, 2020