A week after winning the first downhill of the season at Lake Louise, Didier Cuche confirmed his actual strong form in reaching another podium at Beaver Creek where he finished 2nd in the race won by he teammate Carlo Janka.
HEAD’s Bode Miller reached an impressive 4th place – his best result for a long time on the World Cup tour. Italy’s Patrick Staudacher, the 2007 Super G World Champion at Are, was the third best HEAD athlete of the day in 6th place, his best result in downhill since finishing 5th at Bormio three years ago.
Once more Didier Cuche lost the victory by only a few hundredths of a second – 2/100 in fact - after a great effort race down the treacherous Birds of Prey course. It’s the best result here for the Swiss veteran since finishing 2nd to Bode Miller in December 2005.
The Super G World Champion was rather satisfied by his performance after giving his best to win this demanding competition for the first time. In 2002 Cuche captured the Super G race here.
“It has been another exciting day for me on the Birds of Prey,” he said afterwards. “It was really tight for the victory. It would have been nice to win again today but Carlo was on fire. This is so good for the team, but dangerous for me.”
“I was attacking hard and I made a big mistake at some point. It was the key. Janka made one at the same place, but a smaller one. I tried to catch some speed after it but it wasn’t enough.”
“ We have to enjoy everyday of this Swiss domination because you never know what will come in the future. It changes so quickly.”
Didier Cuche remains in the lead in the downhill standings after that event, yet with only a few points ahead of Janka, who came in 3rd last week at Lake Louise.
“It’s always a good sign to excel here, it’s such a challenging hill, one of the toughest on the World Cup tour besides Kitzbühel, Wengen and Bormio and it’s a nice boost for my confidence too,” Cuche also said. “I was quite nervous at the start today as I wanted to do well. It’s funny to think that Janka is so much younger than me, but I really don’t feel 35 right now. I’m having so much fun on the course.”
It seems also to have been the case for two-time Birds of Prey winner Bode Miller who had a spectacular run down the demanding slope. The former downhill World Champion was charging the course with great determination and came close to his first podium since being 2nd at Wengen last January.
“Mistakes are acceptable if you are pushing it,” Miller told the press. He also said the Beaver Creek snow was “really dense and unusual. Not icy, but really heavy and hard and a lot of our set-ups weren't right for it.”
He switched both skis and boots “every run,” and during the week of training, an indicator of the amount of work put into the race by the tech reps.
The two time Overall World Cup champion added he is still working his way into shape, adding it becomes more difficult when racing is taking up most of his time. “Every season, you have different feelings, different situations. Right now it's fun and training has been great, so …”