Two wins and a fifth place gave Kjetil Jansrud a weekend on his home slopes that he will not forget for a long time. Jansrud shared the win in the first downhill with Georg Streitberger and Erik Guay won the … second race to give the Norway – Canadian joint venture a person on the top step each day of the three day set of races. For the Norwegians though it must have been hard not seeing Aksel Lund Svindal on the top step as he tried to make the most of the last speed weekend of the World Cup season.
Svindal came into the weekend trailing Marcel Hirscher in the race for the overall yet knowing that three wins would be in his grasp and if he could accomplish that, then the race for the Overall would be back in his favour. As Hirscher celebrated his 25th birthday on the Sunday, he must have been thanking the racers that nudged Svindal down in each of the races. For every place that Svindal dropped, the difference at the end of the weekend would be less. Svindal will go to Kranjska Gora in a week trailing Svindal by 77 points. With an average placing of third in all the technical races this season, it is advantage Hirscher with six races to go. How Svindal will be hoping that Ligety can help him in the Giant Slalom!
The weather played its trump cards as it ruined training runs, allowing just one on the shortened course, just over a minute long, on the morning of the first race and then brought winter back to the hills for the second race and the Super G. With such a short race for the first of the two downhills, it was amazing to see the number of tied places. Not only was the win tied but there were four ties in the top twelve finishers and another six ties further down the results! It seems that tied results are now all the rage since the Olympics!
Svindal leaves Norway with his hands on the Downhill and Super G Globes but will be hoping that he can still work his magic and secure enough points to prize the Big Globe away from Hirscher. It has been close before, it could be squeaky bum time again!
Travis Ganong made the big step up to the podium with third in the opening downhill before Johan Clarey and Matthias Mayer (yes the same one that won the Olympic Downhill) also scored their best World Cup Downhill results. And do you remember a certain Silvan Zurbriggan, he who won the Combined in Kitzbuehel back in 2009 and then won the downhill in Val Gardena in 2010? Well he posted sixth best time in the first Downhill, joint with Aksel Lund Svindal. It was a strange weekend in Kvitfjell.
After a great start to the weekend for Dougie Crawford, 35th in the opening Downhill, he crashed out of both remaining races.
The last regular weekend of the World Cup sees the technical racers head to Kranjska Gora in Slovenia next weekend and then it is on to Lenzerheide for the World Cup Finals. Just the top 25 in each discipline get tickets to race there – and those with over 500 World Cup points from across the board this season and the recently crowned Junior World Champion.
Picture: Credit: Zoom Agence