Aksel Lund Svindal extended his lead in the Downhill World Cup standings with second place in the Downhill in Kvitfjell, Norway. The Norwegian posted the fastest split times virtually all the way down the Olympiabakken course yet losing time on the run in to the finish cost him his first win in Norway. Theaux was the bravest of the brave as he tucked where others could not. Theaux was rewarded with his second career win. Defending Downhill World Cup champion placed third to keep himself in the hunt to retain his Globe.
Talking after the race about the race for the Downhill Globe, Svindal said: â€œIt is not yet assured but it is becoming an exciting race. Today I have skied well and am happy with my second place. I will take a podium place and I have another chance in the morning. I will never win the Slalom Globe therefore the only thing I am missing is the Downhill Globe,â€ explained Svindal after the race.
Regarding the conditions Svindal commented: â€œâ€œAbove it was okay, but below I had a little too much wind to be able to win here. You go 130kph and then you see how the wind comes to meet you,â€ said Svindal. â€œIt is incredibly difficult to stay in position. Such a race with changing winds is just not fair.â€
Gale force winds at the top of the course forced the racecourse to be shortened to a winning time of just under a minute and a half. Kjetil Jansrud was second in the race last year with a time of one minute forty-five seconds. Going number 1, Manny Osborne-Paradis, made a great start and managed to hold on to finish fourth, his best result since coming back from almost two years out injured.
Not only did the second place extend his lead in the Downhill race, it also brought Svindal 80 points closer to Marcel Hirscher in the race for the Overall. Svindal now trails Hirscher by 129 points with the Super G in the morning still to come. Hirscher had little to cheer himself up on his 24th birthday. The Austrian is missing the speed races in Norway to prepare for the last week of tech racing in Kranjska Gora next weekend.