Kjetil Jansrud put down a marker from an early start and as the HEAD World Cup Rebels pushed the limits, a resounding first through to fourth was looking promising. Jansrud lead from Johan Clarey, Aksel Lund Svindal and Bode Miller as the Rebels put the markers down for the rest of the field to aspire to. While the lead lasted eleven racers, Erik Guay spoilt the party by edging Jansrud out by twelve hundredths of a second.
After the race, Jansrud explained: “I am very happy with my skiing, especially how I did on top. I probably shouldn’t have been so defensive in the bottom part, I really lost too much time to Erik but I am very happy with my second place. After a year of injuries there is nothing to complain, I now have two downhill podiums and that feels great.”
For Johan Clarey, this was a great moment to score his second career podium, four years after his last one, also in Val Gardena. “I very nearly quit racing in the summer after my accident last season, so I am very happy with this result,” Clarey explained after the race. Two years ago, Clarey was on the verge of a first win when the weather changed and the race was cancelled.
“I was worried this podium might not happen for me today,” a smiling Clarey said after realizing he would remain on the podium. “In the past I so often got bumped off the podium and I was worried until almost the very end. I am relieved for once things went my way!”
With Val Gardena regularly affected by changing weather, this year it stayed constant. Both Clarey and Jansrud admitted after the race that they were waiting until HEAD World Cup Rebel Hans Olsson came down before they felt that they could relax. Olsson, delighted with his Super G result the day before admitted that he felt his run was going well from a start number of 63. “When I looked at the fans after I came through the finish, there was not the same cheering as yesterday, so I was not so happy.” Olsson spent 700 days away from the World Cup and admits that he needs to score better FIS points if he is to start earlier and have more of a chance to challenge.
When Guay knocked Svindal off the podium and pushed Miller down to fifth, the leading five racers were separated by less than four tenths. Svindal remains in the lead for the Overall and Downhill with his fourth place; Jansrud jumps up to fourth. Svindal leads the Overall by 175 points with Ted Ligety in third with Bode Miller in fifth and Kjetil Jansrud in sixth.
1. Erik Guay (CAN)
2. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) HEAD
3. Johan Clarey (FRA) HEAD
4. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) HEAD
5. Bode Miller (USA) HEAD
12. Georg Streitberger (AUT) HEAD
14. Matthias Mayer (AUT) HEAD
23. Hans Olsson (SWE) HEAD
24. Silvan Zurbriggan (SUI) HEAD
29. Tobias Stechert (GER) HEAD
29. Beat Feuz (SUI) HEAD