On a postcard perfect day on Thursday in St. Moritz, Switzerland, the race for the men’s World Cup super G title came to a head with racers treating fans to hair-raising action as top skiers battled it out for the small globe.
After an intense race that saw many contenders make early exits on a challenging course, Switzerland’s Beat Feuz took his second win of the finals, clocking a time of 1:16.17 seconds. Tied for second were a pair of Norwegians with Aleksander Aamodt Kilde and Kjetil Jansrud both finishing just 0.10 seconds behind Feuz. Kilde’s result was good enough to fend off all challengers and take the discipline title, the first of his young career.
Feuz set the pace early on wearing bib six and managed to hang on till the end despite strong challenges from the likes of Kilde and Jansrud. Jansrud, wearing bib 16, threatened to overtake Feuz until catching an edge in the middle section of the course. The strong Norwegian was able to stay composed enough to cross the line just behind the Swiss. Kilde’s closest rival in the super G standings, Vincent Kreichmayr of Austria, unfortunately skied out in the toughest section of the course with bib 18, leaving the door wide open for the Attacking Viking.
Leading at each split, Kilde looked well on his way to taking his third victory of the season until a mistake approaching the finish cost him just enough time to slip behind Feuz and tie his compatriot for second and claim his first crystal globe in the process.
“It’s hard to say what exactly is happening here in St. Moritz,” said Feuz in the finish. “It’s amazing, to think just one week ago in Norway where I told my coach if I didn’t qualify for the super G here, then I would race as a forerunner. I was really unsure if I could make it back this season, so to end the season with two wins is a dream.”
The 23-year-old Kilde, who began the year ranked outside of the top 30 skiers in the world in downhill and barely inside the top 30 in super G, now finds himself with a World Cup super G title to go along with two wins – one in super G, one in downhill – this season.
“I was really nervous this morning to be honest,” said Kilde. “Standing in the start and having it be the first time in that situation where you’re leading and have the red bib and all that. It was tough.”
“I started out in Lake Louise with a good feeling,” Kilde explained. “I skied fast in training and had the possibility to ski fast in races as well. I started out with a 10th place and from there, it was just a curve that went upwards. Right now, I’m standing with a crystal globe and feeling just amazing right now. Crossing the finish line and doing something like I did today is just something you want to do even more. I can thank Kjetil and Aksel for such support since I started training with them. They’ve been pushing me and setting the line where I should be and if I’m not there, they push me even more. I’ve been working hard, but it’s easier when you have teammates like that.”
Although Jansrud was unable to capture either of the speed titles this season, he was nevertheless happy to have landed in the middle of a Viking sandwich in the super G standings, finishing in second between Kilde and Aksel Lund Svindal.
“Tying with Aleks is always fun, more fun than being mad about the globe,” said Jansrud. “Very impressive from Aleksander, he’s a deserving winner of the globe. Looking back, I’m very happy with what I did today, I think I skied pretty good. Second place in the Cup between two Norwegians, I don’t think anyone is in a position to complain about that. It’s a pretty sweet day to be Norwegian.”
Unfortunately for the Americans, Travis Ganong and Andrew Weibrecht both fell victim to the challenging section and failed to finish their runs, leaving the Americans with no finishers on Thursday.
Racing action from World Cup finals continues on Friday with the annual team event. Racing is scheduled to get underway at noon CET.
By Hank McKee
1. Feuz, Head/Head/Head
2. Kilde, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2. Jansrud, Head/Head/Head
4. Theaux, Head/Head/Head
5. Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
6. Sander, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
7. Fill, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
8. Tumler, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9. Kline, Stoeckli/Head
10. Baumann, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
- Men’s World Cup super G, St Moritz, Switzerland, March 17, 2016. … The fourth of eight races at World Cup Finals and the 42nd of the men’s season. … The eighth of eight slated super Gs.
- It is the seventh World Cup victory for Beat Feuz. … It is his second win of the season and of finals having also claimed the downhill 24 hours earlier. … The winning margin is 0.10 of a second. … Top eight are within a second. … Top 14 within two seconds. … More than a third of the field, including all North Americans, fail to finish.
- It is the fifth career World Cup podium for Aleksander Aamodt Kilde … His fourth this season and third this season in super G.
- It is the 33rd career World Cup podium for Kjeil Jansrud. … His eighth this season and third this season in super G.
- Hirscher holds the lead of the World Cup overall standings 1625-1272 over Henrik Kristoffersen (did not race). … Kjetil Jansrud is third overall with 1063pts.
- Kilde wins the super G title (his first) over Jansrud 415-375. … Aksel Lund Svindal (did not race) is third with 310pts. … Kilde is the sixth Norwegian male to win a Super G title. … Andrew Weibrecht (DNF is race) finishes eighth in SG with 244pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||Diff.||FIS Points|
|2||20||422139||KILDE Aleksander Aamodt||1992||NOR||1:16.27||+0.10||1.42|
|Did not finish 1st run|