Cuche wins World Cup downhill at Lake Louise
November 27, 2011
LAKE LOUISE, Alberta – Didier Cuche won the downhill season-opener Saturday, giving Switzerland a 1-2 finish in the World Cup race at Lake Louise.
The 37-year-old Cuche finished in 1 minute, 47.28 seconds. He also won at Lake Louise in 2009.
“Actually, I always struggle to be fast here in Lake Louise, especially in the downhill,” Cuche said. “I was on the podium three or four times in the super-G, but before the win two years ago I was maybe once top five. It’s a hard course to be fast. You need to attack. You need to glide. You need find a good mix between pushing hard and letting the ski goes. Today, I think I had a lot of help with my skis and my material.”
Beat Feuz was second in 1:47.34, and Austria’s Hannes Reichelt was third in 1:47.36.
“It’s one race where the Swiss guys are better,” Reichelt said. “We’ll try tomorrow, or at Beaver Creek (next week), to kick the Swiss off the podium.”
Bode Miller was the top American, finishing ninth in 1:48.01.
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Marco Sullivan was 24th, Travis Ganong 27th, Erik Fisher 35th, Wiley Maple 38th and Andrew Weibrecht 51st. Ryan Cochran-Siegle crashed in his first World Cup start.
A super-G is scheduled for Sunday.
What keeps Cuche going is driving across the finish line to see his name light up in green letters at the top of the leaderboard, instead of red letters below.
“If it’s green, it’s perfect,” said Cuche, the defending downhill and super-G season champion. “If it’s red, you start to focus on the next day and hope you get the green light.”
Cuche is a hero to Feuz.
“He’s the old guy and I’m the young guy so we complete each other,” the 24-year-old Feuz said. “Of course he’s a ski legend and a great guy and to be second behind him, it gives an even sweeter taste to my podium finish.”