Aksel Lund Svindal takes third place in Kitzbuehel Super G.
When the clouds finally broke above the Streif for the opening race of the 2011 Hahnenkamm weekend, the setting was there for a great race. This is the Super G race all the racers want to win. Conditions for the early runners meant that they had perfect visibility down the course and with the start area having been redesigned to allow more viewers and a wider slope; this enabled the course to be attacked. And attack the racers did!
The early pace was set by Ivica Kostelic and he used the clear vision and clean course to post a time that would be the marker for the following racers. The Croatian then had the long wait for the rest of the racers to attack the course. Kjetil Jansrud was the first of the HEAD racers down and he described the course as “good, icy, smooth!”
Approaching the end of the main seeds, the faster racers, Aksel Lund Svindal had to cope with a deteriorating course and light that was moderate at best. This was the tenth time this season that Aksel had made the top three in the World Cup. For Aksel, he felt that the “top section was not too good but the middle and bottom section were OK but I could not see the time when I came through the finish. There were some paper fireworks going off so I thought that must be a good sign. I knew that Ivica had had a good run and that I was three tenths out so when I saw those racers who were in the top seeds and they were over a second behind, I thought this may be a good time.” Franz Klammer, watching in the finish, described Svindal’s run as “good at the top but he lost his line a little at the bottom.”
Coming down straight after Svindal, Didier Cuche was in touch at the top and then he “got shaken by the bumps.”I caught the right line coming round the double gate just before the Zielschuss,” explained Cuche. The speed Cuche managed to gain on the last third brought him back into the fight as he so nearly gate crashed the podium. “I made too many mistakes, I got shaken by the bumps,” explained Cuche on his run, “I have to take the positives of the lower section to the downhill tomorrow.”
Bode Miller attacked the course yet came away feeling that he still has more to get from the course: “I made too many mistakes at the top of the course so tried to tuck at the bottom but made too many mistakes to really challenge.” Miller would take 10th place.
Svindal, with third place, deserves the last word: “It is a tough race and everyone makes mistakes so you have to get after it and see where you end up!”
1. Ivica Kostelic
2. Georg Streitberger
3. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) HEAD
4. Didier Cuche (SUI) HEAD
10. Bode Miller (USA) HEAD
16. Werner Heel (ITA) HEAD
20. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) HEAD
22. Ted Ligety (USA) HEAD
28. Gauthier de Tessieres (FRA) HEAD