Switzerland’s Didier Cuche brilliantly bounced back after his disappointing Olympic Games with another great win at Kvitfjell where he secured his third downhill World Cup title after a nearly flawless run down the demanding ‘Olympia’ course.
The 35-year-old veteran, unbeaten in the speed events on the World Cup tour since his impressive double win at Kitzbühel, celebrated his fifth triumph this season – his third in downhill – and his 14th in his career. Earlier this season, Cuche also excelled in giant slalom (Soelden) and Super-G (Kitzbühel) to be the only racer having done so well in three specialties in the past month.
“It’s definitely a crucial success for me here, I’m really pleased with my performance today,” said the Swiss who has clocked the fastest times in both training runs. “I’m proud being able to clinch another crystal globe today with such a great result. It was one of my main goals at the season start. It means a lot to me. I have been pretty consistent in downhill this winter,” the HEAD star added.
Didier Cuche also reinforced his 3rd place in the Overall standings, not too far from the leaders. It’s just too bad that he suffered so many setbacks this season, seriously injuring himself because of crashes at Val d’Isère and Kranjska-Gora where he broke his right thumb. Without those misfortunes, he could now be leading the Overall classification with a fair chance to capture the big crystal globe at the coming Finals at Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Interestingly enough only skiing legend Franz Klammer won more downhill World Cups than Didier Cuche who equalled the remarkable hat-trick also achieved by other great specialists as Franz Heinzer, Peter Muller, Stephan Eberharter, Luc Alphand or Michael Walchhofer.
Didier Cuche also insisted about his motivation prior the race – to have fun steaming down the course as fast as possible without thinking about taking revenge after his disappointing Olympics. “It was a perfect day for ski racing here, the weather was so good and the course so nice today,” he told the press. “I did put much pressure on my shoulders clocking twice the best time here during my practise runs. I was pretty nervous half an hour before the race but then I found back all my confidence and my determination in the last minutes before my start. I felt able to win again here with a solid run,” he added.
“I had a lot of fun coming down that slope. People must know that I didn’t feel depressed by my recent Olympic results as some reporters wrote. Defeats are part of our job and our sport. You must be able to deal with bad results. I was able to soon find back my momentum and my concentration for these races. I didn’t ski with rage or a bad feeling. It was nice to prove that I can be fast today. I could use all my pleasure to ski to get down the slope as fast as possible.”
“You need to train very hard during six/seven months to be able to be so consistent during the entire season, there is no other secret,” Cuche also said to explain his strong season in the speed events.
“My first win at Lake Louise has been a strong boost for my confidence. I knew that I could enjoy a great season winning on that kind of slope. Yet you also need some luck. I often crashed this winter, it has not been so easy. I broke a rib in December and my thumb in January and this strongly affected my performances afterwards. “
“I’m looking forward for more exciting moments in the coming races yet I don’t believe that I have a serious chance to fight for the Overall title now. I would need to win all the remaining races and hope that both Benjamin Raich and Carlo Janka failed to score any points. This will not happen. They are both very experience even Carlo who is really cool.”
Didier is now expected to fight for another podium finish in Sunday’s Super-G race.