Two years after his unexpected golden triumph at the Are World Championships, Italy’s Patrick Staudacher finally reached his first ever World Cup podium at Val Gardena-Gröden where he came in 3rd in the Super-G.
The 29-year-old HEAD athlete finished several times close to that podium in recent season, including at Beaver Creek, in Colorado, where he was a promising 6th in the downhill. Two years ago, the skier from Colle Isarco was 4th in a Super-G raced at Whistler Mountain, Canada, on the slope of the 2010 Olympics. He was again 4th a week ago at Val d’Isère, only 39/100 behind his teammate Werner Heel.
“It was about time, I badly wanted such a good result here in front of my fans and friends,” he told reporters after the race. “I could not choose a better spot I guess, this is really great,” the happy Italian carabinieri added. “I felt ready for it after my solid performances in past weeks, and I fought very hard for this today. It was a tricky course which required smart skiing and it means a lot to me that I could do so well here today.”
“My skis were gliding smoothly in the upper part, but I made mistakes in the middle part were I might well have lost the race. But that’s part of the game. I can imagine that everybody made mistakes today on that demanding course.”
“I had to be patient but I’m glad I never gave up my hopes for another strong result on the World Cup,” Staudacher also said. “I struggled after my surprising win at Are in 2007, I worked hard to confirm that great success but I failed to do really well again. Last season I skied too hard, I put too much pressure on myself and I was another disappointing winter, especially at Val d’Isère where is finished far behind.”
“Last summer I told myself that I had to change my approach, being more relaxed and try to better use my experience. I also realized that I could not force anything and that I just have to train as well as possible and keep on trying,” also said the Italian who underwent an operation at his eyes to improve his sight. “Now I know that I can also aim for victories in future events. My main goal is to improve my confidence and my form and be ready to achieve a great race at the upcoming Olympics.”
Staudacher already competed at the 2002 Games at Salt Lake City and then at the 2006 Olympics at Sestriere. His best result in the speed event is a 9th place in downhill in Italy.