The Men’s World Cup has been hit hard by the weather this season with the Solden Giant Slalom and the Beaver Creak Downhill falling foul of the elements. With many of the top stars of the Super G struggling with the conditions, Didier Cuche used all his strength and experience to grab his first podium of the season with third place. Having won back in 2002, this is a slope that Cuche has bags of experience of. The Beaver Creak Super G has a history of first time winners yet this time Georg Streitberger was able to celebrate victory ahead of Adrien Theaux of France and Didier Cuche just 0.13seconds back in third.
After the Downhill had been cancelled due to the high winds the previous day, a degree of luck was required for racers leaving the start. Cuche, starting 19, put in the turns and the time was good. “It went really good,” Cuche said of his run. “Some spots were really tricky but we got the information from the coaches. It wasn’t easy to start form the back – it’s always a little slower than the guys starting in the beginning. The biggest problem [for] me was the double by the Pumphouse. I went really low and I lost some speed at the middle split and I think I lost the victory there. But I’m happy I managed the other difficulties – Screech Owl and the compression after Golden Eagle.”
It looked like the early numbers were going to reap the benefits with both Streitberger (6) and Theaux (4) starting early. Cuche’s experience and power, however, proved decisive in bringing him his first podium of the season.
Such is the competitive nature of the Men’s Super G, racers had to fight for every hundredth of a second. It was this desire that saw many racers fail to fully negotiate the delay gate nearing the bottom. Ted Ligety summed it up: “The coaches were giving us hints but we didn’t have the full information on how to set it up there,” Ligety said. “So it’s a bummer … but that’s super G. You have to be on the fine line of going out and making it clean and we were on the other side of that line.”
It was a good day for the HEAD Speedoholics as not only did Cuche take third but six other HEAD Speedoholics scored World Cup Super G points. Despite having his daughter in the crowd watching, Bode Miller was unable to make the finish as did Ted Ligety.
1 Georg Streitberger (AUT)
2 Adrien Theaux (FRA)
3 Didier Cuche (SUI) HEAD
9 Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) HEAD
14 Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) HEAD
16 Gauthier de Tessieres (FRA) HEAD
17 Werner Heel (ITA) HEAD
20 Stephan Keppler (GER) HEAD
22 Hans Grugger (AUT) HEAD.