Reichelt wins men’s super-G race in Aspen, Jansrud earns globe
Victory Thursday in the men’s super-G race at the World Cup finals had special meaning for Hannes Reichelt of Austria.
It was the first time Reichelt raced in Aspen, but he was familiar with Aspen Mountain from watching his hero, Stephan Eberharter, who won a World Cup super-G race here in 1998.
“I can remember the races (in the 1980s and 1990s). It was always fun to watch it on the television, Reichelt said. “I was a young boy and now I’m here on the podium with my idol, Stephan Eberharter. (I) had a victory on the same place he won.”
Reichelt mastered a twisting course that caused seven racers to either miss gates or crash, and forced several other top competitors in field of 25 to make mistakes that cost them precious seconds.
Reichelt took the race in 1 minute, 8.22 seconds. Dominik Paris of Italy continued his strong showing in the World Cup Finals speed events in Aspen with a second-place finish, 0.11 seconds behind. Paris won Wednesday’s downhill.
When asked after the race why there were so many racers crashing and missing gates, Reichelt said the reason was simple — it was a tough course.
“The slope is the challenge. It’s a lot of bumps and the course setting was not easy,” he said. “That’s the cool thing about super-G, that you just have the inspection. From the inspection you have to find the right line, then use that line.”
While the racers get to train on the downhill course, they can only examine the super-G course and not take practice runs.
Mauro Caviezel of Switzerland and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway tied for third, 0.33 behind the winner.
Travis Ganong was the top U.S. finisher. He came out of the 18th start position to finish eighth. Andrew Weibrecht finished 17th out of the 18 racers that completed the race. Dustin Cook of Canada appeared destined for a podium finish until he missed a gate right above the finish.
Reichelt, 36, had previously been successful with races in Vail. He shrugged off suggestions that there must be something he likes about the Colorado snow. Maybe it’s just the people lining the courses and cheering the racers that he likes, he retorted.
The season title in the super-G was settled before the race. Kjetil Jansrud of Norway had an insurmountable lead. He finished in ninth place in Thursday’s race.
Jansrud was the first racer on the course. He said his role was to learn what he could about the nuances of the course and relay the information to the team to help Kilde get on the podium. His countryman was also holding onto a slight lead for second in overall super-G standings.
The strategy got Kilde in the podium, but Reichelt’s victory pushed him ahead of Kilde in super-G standings by 4 points.
Jansrud claimed the Crystal Globe, awarded to the points leader in each discipline, for the second time in three years in the super-G. He is also the reigning super-G gold medalist.
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