Kjetil Jansrud keeps the pressure up with second in Hinterstoder GS
For the third time in his career Kjetil Jansrud placed second in a World Cup Giant Slalom at Hinterstoder. Having lead after the first run, the twenty five year old Norwegian HEAD racer was looking in good form to post his first win on the World Cup in his favoured discipline. As the last man down the Hannes Trinkl piste, Jansrud had a lead of 0.35 after the first run. With many of the racers experiencing problems as the course moved from the sun into the shade and back again, Jansrud faced the pressure of the crowd wanting their man, Austrian Philip Schoerghofer, to win at home for the first time.
The first run had been set ablaze by Jansrud’s first run and then the flames had been further stoked by an awesome run by Bode Miller. Miller had set very fast times all the way down, leading and then got bounced about a few gates from the finish that saw him lose all his speed and drop to just inside the bubble at 28. Bode delivered a devastating second run that saw him hold the lead until Marcus Sandell bumped him off from 15th spot after the first run. Miller would go on to place ninth for his best GS result in three years! Head Coach to the US Team, Sasha Rearick commented: "That was inspiring skiing. It was fun to see Bode on a turny course like that just chuck himself down the hill and ski aggressive. Bode is finding his gear and putting in the type of inspiring skiing which is fun for us to watch and for him to throw down. We're looking forward to going to World Champs,” adding “Warner Nickerson also did a great job making the cut for the second time this season.”
Just ahead of Miller in the results was Aksel Lund Svindal; the HEAD racers packed the top ten finishers of the last race before the Garmisch World Championships. Svindal, winner of the previous race in Adelboden, was looking to put in another strong performance yet little errors cost him time and he ended up in eighth two places behind Didier Cuche in sixth. With Mr Giant Slalom this season, Ted Ligety, dropping from seventh after the first run to fourteenth, the further the race got to the fastest runners from the first run, the higher the tension grew.
While Cuche held on to third for a while, he knew that he would be lucky to hold on to a podium spot as the faster racers came down. With Jansrud in the start house as the fastest man from the first run and Schoerghofer in the finish as leader, Jansrud headed off. A mistake in the first section cost him his advantage and then he set about clawing it back. By the last split it was down to four tenths, could he do it? By the time the Norwegian crossed the line, Jansrud was less than two tenths off the pace of the Austrian. A third runners up spot was what Kjetil Jansrud would have to settle for. Going into the World Championships, this will bring him the confidence needed to add to his Olympic medal won last year in Whistler.
Speaking after the race, Jansrud said “You want to say it’s a mixed feelings thing, but being on the podium is a privilege,” said Jansrud. “You take a look at the results and Carlo is just a few-hundredths behind me and same with fourth place. It’s a tight race so I’m happy with second.”
In Arber, Lizz Goergl placed fourth equal in the Women’s Giant Slalom.
1. Philip Schoerghofer
2. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) HEAD
3. Carlo Janka
6. Didier Cuche (SUI) HEAD
8. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) HEAD
9. Bode Miller (USA) HEAD
11. Gauthier de Tessieres (FRA) HEAD
14. Ted Ligety (USA) HEAD
20. Truls Ove Karlsen (NOR) HEAD
26. Warner Nickerson (USA) HEAD