It was another picturesque day in the mountains of Jeongseon, South Korea, as the Olympic super G test event took place on Sunday. Grippy snow, blue skies, cold air, and a challenging course set by Italian coach Alberto Ghidoni made for exciting racing action as Switzerland’s Carlo Janka took his first World Cup victory in over a year with a total time of 1:26.16 seconds. A distant second, 0.82 seconds back, was Italy’s Christof Innerhofer, with Austrian Vincent Kriechmayr rounding out the podium in third, 1.06 seconds off the pace.
Janka, who at 29 years old had never before won a World Cup super G, ran early wearing bib 7. The first group of starters were still figuring out the intricacies of the course set with its numerous jumps and blind turns. Janka utilized his big frame to ski fluidly and composed – especially through the tricky second and third intervals – and crossed the line with an enormous lead. However, with all of the top-ranked skiers yet to come and many of the athletes before him having trouble, it was unclear whether Janka had laid down a winning time.
Racer after racer slowly chipped away at Janka’s lead, but in the end, only Innerhofer managed to come within a second of Janka’s winning run.
“It was not an easy super G today. I took some risk and everything worked out,” Janka said. “The course had some difficult things in it, some jumps and some waves, but I took that risk and everything worked. That was the key today for me.”
Innerhofer, who was somewhat critical of the downhill during the training runs, clarified his remarks and said his criticisms were more directed towards very specific aspects of the downhill course, and not the hill as a whole. He also added that he always thought the Jeongseon venue was perfect for super G. Finding his first podium of the season may have further persuaded him to appreciate the hill.
“Everyone knows that super G is different than downhill, and we saw in inspection that it will not be an easy super G, especially on the first part,” explained Innerhofer. “I looked at Carlo on the TV and said, ‘Oh, those are good lines,’ so I tried to do the same. I had a good feeling in the middle of the run. My feeling was good and it wasn’t bad skiing and when I crossed the finish line and saw the second place I had a really big smile.”
Kriechmayr’s third place is the young Austrian’s second career World Cup podium, which bodes well in the future for an Austrian speed team that has been literally torn apart by injuries this season. After Saturday’s downhill where the 24 year old finished a disappointing 29th, he was eager to show his real speed in Sunday’s super G.
“I’m always faster in super G than in downhill and am really proud about the result today,” said Kriechmayr. “I was really fast in the last super Gs, but I’d always make a little mistake and today I didn’t make a mistake, so it’s third place today. I always like tricky and difficult courses, and today it was like this. The waves are not easy and the jumps, all together it was a really hard and difficult race. I’m always smiling when I see something like this.”
A young Frenchman also made a notable move on the day. Blaise Giezendanner in bib 39 cracked the top 10 for the first time in his career, scoring his first World Cup super G points in the process after finished eighth. The 2014 World University Games super G champion in Passo San Pellegrino has certainly found his stride on the World Cup stage. His previous best result on tour was 20th in the Santa Caterina downhill this past December.
It was a challenging day for the Americans, as Andrew Weibrecht fell victim to a tricky piece of terrain in the middle section of the course. Leading the way for the Stars and Stripes was Tommy Biesemeyer in 21st, followed closely by yesterday’s third-place finisher Steven Nyman in 22nd. Wiley Maple found the points once more and finished 24th, and Jared Goldberg rounded out the American scorers in 27th.
“It was OK,” said a disappointed Biesemeyer. “My performance was OK. I’m not really that proud of my skiing and that’s what I’m thinking about the most from today. I’m looking towards the next race.”
The men’s tour now heads to Yukawa Naeba, Japan, for slalom and GS races Feb. 13-14.
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By Hank McKee
- Janka, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
- Innerhofer, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
- Kriechmayr, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
- Kilde, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Fill, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Baumann, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
- Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Giezendanner, Head/Head/Head
- Reichelt, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
- Sander, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Men’s World Cup super G, Jeongseon, Korea, Feb. 6, 2016. … An Olympic course test. … And the 27th race of a 43 race men’s World Cup schedule. … The fifth of eight scheduled super Gs.
- It is the 11th career World Cup win for Carlo Janka, but his first in super G. … It is his first win of the season. The winning margin is 0.82 of a second. … Top two are within the same second. … Top 20 within two seconds.
- It is the 13th career World Cup podium for Christof Innerhofer … his fourth in super G. … It is his first podium of the season.
- It is the second career World Cup podium for Vincent Kriechmayr, the first coming March 8, 2015 at Kvitfjell, also in super G. … His best previous finish this season had been sixth in downhill at Santa Caterina Dec. 29.
- It is the fourth best SG result of the season for Erik Guay. … It is the third best career finish for Thomas Biesemeyer, all in super G. … It is his second finish and second best finish of the season having previously finished 11th in the Beaver Creek SG Dec. 5. … It is the ninth best career SG result for Steven Nyman. … and his best SG finish of the season. … It is the career best World Cup SG finish for Wiley Maple … his third score of the season.
- Marcel Hirscher (seventh in race) leads the World Cup overall standing 1005-916 over Aksel Lund Svindal (did not race – injured). … Henrik Kristoffersen is third overall with 817pts.
- Svindal maintains the lead of the super G standings 310-190 over Andrew Weibrecht (DNF in race). … Aleksander Aamodt Kilde is third with 185pts.
- Austria leds the men’s Nations Cup 3655-3246 over Norway. … France is third with 2998 pts. … The U.S. is fifth at 1582pts and Canada ninth at 452pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||Diff.||FIS Points|
|4||19||422139||KILDE Aleksander Aamodt||1992||NOR||1:27.37||+1.21||15.17|
|12||44||194542||GIRAUD MOINE Valentin||1992||FRA||1:27.78||+1.62||20.31|
|26||36||380292||ZRNCIC DIM Natko||1986||CRO||1:28.69||+2.53||31.71|
|30||48||990116||DE ALIPRANDINI Luca||1990||ITA||1:28.85||+2.69||33.72|
|Did not start 1st run|
|3||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|51||110324||VON APPEN Henrik||1994||CHI|