It did not look promising first thing in the morning but with one of the highest quality fields assembled for the Delancey British Alpine Super G Championships for many a year, the weather finally relented and allowed the race to happen. While Valentin Giroud Moine won the Men’s race ahead of Brice Roger and Adrien Theaux, the duel between Britain’s top two speed racers had much of the interest of those watching: Dougie Crawford has been out for almost two years and there was no way that the defending British Super G Champion, TJ Baldwin was wanting to give up his title without a fight. With the weather doing its best to throw a spanner into the works, both racers had a great opportunity to post good results with the field that was assembled.
The fog that had gathered across the course had many of the World Cup race winners (Matteo Marsaglia and Adrien Theaux) as well as a host of World Cup racers from France and Italy, all looking at the heavens and muttering not again with reference to the recent World Cup Finals that happened in Lenzerheide last week. With both speed races cancelled there, the likes of David Poisson, Thomas Frey, Yannick Bertrand and Brice Roger were looking to use the race to score decent FIS points as the season draws to a close. With Theaux and Marsaglia also in the field, this was a great opportunity for the younger racers, especially the British racers, an opportunity to see some of the best racers in the World in Super G up close. Marsaglia was in with a remote chance of taking the Super G Globe up until the weather came in in Lenzerheide.
The inclement weather caused the start to be taken up and as a result the finish was also lifted to the top of the Stade. With the slope having been redesigned since the Championships last year due to the Women’s World Cup having visited last February in preparation for the World Cup Finals in 2015 coming to Meribel. The area between the Poma Turn and down to the Meadows is now more direct and faster as the racers go over a tunnel allowing the public to keep skiing and not worry about the racers.
Both Crawford and Baldwin knew that this was a great opportunity for them to both post a great result as well as put some measurement down against some of the World Cup racers in the field. Baldwin admitted to having struggled from the third gate on, poor technique he felt was his undoing, and is still trying to come to grips with the new skis for this year while Crawford was “delighted to be back after two years of not being here and back on the trophies.” This is the third time that Crawford had had his name on the Super G Trophy (2007 and 2010 being the other two times). Crawford felt that his run had not been great and that he did not ski his best having made a few mistakes: “I let the skis run and think my time was pretty good considering the mistakes that I made,” he admitted afterwards.
Crawford was 1.73 off the win back in twelfth place, Baldwin back in sixteenth just over two seconds off the win. Crawford believes that had he taken away some of the mistakes then he could well have been making points. “It could have been good and it was a great race with these top guys here,” he added. This race, he feels, is very similar to how his season has gone with some good sections but the results being inconsistant. Having missed two years through injury he feels he is almost making up for lost time and has not skied enough.
Brad Morgan took third out of the British racers. Morgan was happy being on the podium and like Crawford and Baldwin was disappointed with his own performance as he came in in 23rd spot overall. Morgan had hoped to use his early bib, 16, to better use especially with all the high quality racers in the field. “It was a perfect planned race for me, it would have gone well. I just need to get my head in the right place mentally and it will all come together,” he feels. Barney Lewis took the non British Team award and Max Baggio the under 18 award.
Crawford is confident that after his tremendous results in Kobe earlier this season, this will give him a great opportunity to get some results in Downhill World Cups. The two 12 and 13 point results will lift him up the start list and allow for better course conditions. “I am capable of more,” he freely admits.