Cuche uses confidence from Kitzbuehel to win in Chamonix
Didier Cuche added another win to his list of achievements with another hard fought demonstration of near excellence. The 36 year old gave the rest of the field a lesson in excellence as he mastered the “La Verte” course in Chamonix. “Today I skied the exact line that I wanted to,” he explained afterwards as he took time to sign a young fan’s t-shirt. The confidence that Cuche has following his win in Kitzbuehel the previous weekend, he believes is helping with his current form.
It is five years since the Alpine World Cup has visited these slopes and despite this Cuche feels a great affinity with the slope: In 1997, he came to the slopes recovering from injury and walked down as Luc Alphand raced to victory. “Today it was much easier skiing down in less than two minutes,” grinned Cuche. “I feel a degree of affinity with this hill after walking down.”
Starting number 22, last of the top seeds, Cuche had watched the first racer, Italy’s Dominik Paris, ski three seconds faster than the best training times “and six seconds faster than me! How could this be, I asked,” explained Cuche. By the time Cuche went into the start gate, Paris was still leading and Cuche was asking questions. Cuche trailed the Italian at the first split by two hundredths of a second; this was the last time he trailed.
“I think I got the course about right, the whole way down,” explained Cuche. The top section was good and then from Carrousel down, I was on the money!
Paris held on to second and Klaus Kroell took third. Kroell had been buoyed by the good news of his fellow countryman, and HEAD Speedoholic, Hans Grugger. Grugger is still in a coma but is now responding to human touch.
Johan Clary promised in Kitzbuehel that the race in Chamonix would see the best of him. Going down immediately after Cuche, he gave one of his best performances and was “very pleased” in taking his fourth top ten result of his career.
Aksel Lund Svindal held on for 14th yet admitted that he is still testing equipment: “It is strange that it is the middle of winter and here we are testing but this is the only time we really get to test,” explained the Norwegian Speedoholic.
“It makes me smile when I am asked what winning the world championships would mean to me,” explained Didier Cuche, “I am always looking for a new goal and I have many other goals still to achieve in skiing.” This is ominous for the rest of the downhillers!
Cuche has now extended his lead in the Downhill and is up to second in the Overall World Cup.
1. Didier Cuche (SUI) HEAD
2. Dominik Paris
3. Klaus Kroell
8. Johan Clarey (FRA) HEAD
14. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) HEAD
22. Werner Heel (ITA) HEAD
26. Tobias Stechert (GER) HEAD
27 Guillermo Fayed (FRA) HEAD