Miller and Jansrud pack the Val Gardena / Grieden Super G podium
The clenched fist from HEAD World Cup race manager Rainer Salzgeber said it all as Aksel Lund Svindal came down into third place. This meant that at the end of the best seeds HEAD had four racers in the top four spots. The Saslong Hill is notorious in bringing a later number home to take the spoils and Swiss racer Beat Feuz knocked Bode Miller off the top spot yet still to have four in the top six at the end of the race is a great start to the holiday racing.
Bode Miller explained after the run that he had “made some mistakes on the course and there's not a ton to it. Also, when I went the visibility was pretty bad. If you get a little sun, it can make a huge difference on a course like this. On this particular course you always have to wait until the end because there's guys that can come from the way back and stomp it in.” Magnanimous in defeat, Miller applauded Feuz for his victory.
With the start having been lowered by 250 metres due to high winds at the top, the soft snow was a continual hazard for the racers: Didier Cuche admitted that he had strayed off line and knew that he then had to fight to keep the speed going.
More recognised as a Giant Slalom racer, Kjetil Jansrud was delighted with his third place. Talking as the race was unfolding, Jansrud put some emphasis on the early start he had been lucky to get yet felt that he had skied a good run nonetheless. “When I started out racing I always wanted to be considered an all event skier,” he said afterwards, “now I guess I am getting there.”
With Svindal in fourth and Stephan Keppler in sixth, the results speak for themselves. Keppler, another to benefit from an early start felt that had it not been for a couple of mistakes then he could have been closer in.
Young Austrian Matthias Mayer put in a solid run to score an impressive 18th place in his first visit to Groeden, a hundredth of a second in front of Cuche.
Hans Olsson was pleased with 13th spot and after having won both of the training runs for the downhill; his focus was on getting the best result he could. “I thought the first run was OK and 35 hundredths was not much but was really pleased to win the second run by 1.22seconds. Tomorrow is another day though!”
1. Beat Feuz (SUI)
2. Bode Miller (USA) HEAD
3. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) HEAD
4. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) HEAD
6. Stephan Keppler (GER) HEAD
13. Hans Olsson (SWE) HEAD
14. Tobias Stechert (GER) HEAD
18. Matthias Mayer (AUT) HEAD
19. Didier Cuche (SUI) HEAD