Alpine Skiing: Double Victory For Svindal In Lake Louise

The Men’s Alpine Skiing World Cup continued last weekend in Lake Louise with the season’s first downhill and super-G races.

Downhill on Saturday

Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal won the downhill just ahead of Italy’s Peter Fill. After finishing the last season in only 20th place of the downhill standings, Fill was among the early starters with the bib No. 4. He set the quickest time that lasted until Svindal with the bib No. 20 crossed the finish line.

Svindal had a mistake halfway into his run and at that point he was already 0.47 seconds behind Fill. Still in the fifth split, he was 0.10 seconds behind Fill, yet he managed in the final section to turn that into a win by 0.01 seconds.

Winner of one World Cup downhill race and the World Championship silver medalist last season, Travis Ganong of the USA finished third in the race, 0.36 seconds behind Svindal.

The defending downhill World Cup champion and last year’s Lake Louise double winner Kjetil Jansrud didn’t get a perfect start to his title defense; he finished only ninth, 0.77 seconds behind his countryman Svindal.

Super-G on Sunday

Svindal completed the Lake Louise double victory in the super-G, like he did in 2012.

Also in the super-G, Peter Fill made the podium. The Italian whose only World Cup victory is from the 2008 Lake Louise downhill, started the race with the bib No. 3 and claimed the lead. Like in the downhill, Svindal was the first man to beat his time, this time with a bigger gap of 0.45 seconds.

Fill’s result was eventually third. The other man to beat his time was Austria’s Matthias Mayer, finishing second, 0.35 seconds from Svindal.

The double victory was a perfect comeback to World Cup speed races for Svindal, after having missed last season’s World Cup races due to an Achilles injury. And Lake Louise was maybe the best place for that comeback. His first career win in the World Cup was the 2005 Lake Louise super-G, he won the same event there again in 2007, and won the last three super-Gs he raced there from 2011-2013, as well as the 2012 downhill.

The downhill’s third-place finisher, Travis Ganong, completed his strong weekend with a tie for fourth place with Max Franz in the super-G, 0.51 seconds from Svindal. That was the career-best World Cup super-G result from the 27-year-old American, who has been known more as a downhill specialist.    

Kjetil Jansrud, defending his super-G World Cup title, continued to struggle on Sunday. Last year’s winner finished the super-G in seventh place, 0.54 seconds from Svindal. Although it’s still early in the season, he’s already 136 points behind the current overall World Cup leader Svindal.

Men’s World Cup will continue in Beaver Creek with a downhill, a super-G, and a giant slalom race on December 4-6.