HEAD World Cup Rebel reflected on taking third place in the Lauberhorn Classic Downhill in Wengen but saying that this was a third place won and not a win lost. Svindal was just seven hundredths behind winner Patrick Kueng and just one hundredth behind Hannes Reichelt.
With a storm forcing the organisers to drop the start to just above Canadian Corner, below the iconic Hundschopf Jump, most of the racers agreed with the decision; Svindal commented that he would ‘prefer to have a fair race than a race the full length of the course.’ Despite this some racers benefitted from strong gusts of tail winds as they came through Haneggschuss.
With ten racers making the points scoring positions, Rainer Salzgeber, The HEAD World Cup Rebel Race Team Manager was happy with the performance despite not having taken the win: “The team skied incredibly well, it is not on top of the podium but it is really close to it and some young guys like Goldberg skied really well and that is fantastic.” For Aksel Lund Svindal this was another box ticked as he took his first podium in Wengen, “it would have been a huge box ticked if I had won,” he said afterwards.
With Bode Miller taking fifth place despite feeling he did not benefit from the wind at the top and then making a mistake on the final ‘S’ bends at the finish, yet Salzgeber felt that despite this he had skied well to me in the mix; Matthias Mayer took sixth and a super fast Johan Clarey took ninth after having almost twisted around through the middle Super G turns section. Svindal reflected afterwards that he did not believe that anybody had a perfect race given the conditions.
Asked if the shortened course had any effect in the choice of equipment, Salzgeber replied: “no difference at all, the only missing part on top, you can really gain or win the race was missing. If you have a really fast ski on the top section, for those forty seconds you need to be fast or you have no chance at all. Better to have a short race rather than no race.”
Jared Goldberg punched his way into 12th place from a start of 40 and now feels “super excited as I have been trying to break into the top thirty all year and it has been a real learning experience.”
With sixty more points towards the season long points haul, Svindal now turns his attention to Kitzbuehel with a healthy lead in the Downhill and ahead in the Overall as well.
1. Patrick Kueng (SUI)
2. Hannes Reichelt (AUT)
3. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) HEAD
5. Bode Miller (USA) HEAD
6. Matthias Mayer (AUT) HEAD
9. Johan Clarey (FRA) HEAD
10. Beat Feuz (SUI) HEAD
12. Jared Goldberg (USA) HEAD
13. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) HEAD
20. Georg Streitberger (AUT) HEAD
25. Silvano Varettoni (ITA) HEAD
29. Guillermo Fayed (FRA) HEAD