Defago surprises in Bormio, Bode leads DH standings
Didier Defago unhinged some surprises this morning (Dec. 29) by claiming the difficult Bormio downhill and gaining his first World Cup win since winning Kitzbuehel in 2009. It was the fourth career Cup win for the 34 year old Swiss and helps to complete a set of wins on the toughest courses of the World Cup. He won a super G at Groeden in December 2002 and the Wengen downhill in 2009 as well.
The defending Olympic DH champion gave Switzerland its first ever Cup win at Bormio and first of any sort since Pirmin Zurbriggen won the World Championship DH in 1985.
Patrick Kueng made it a double win for the Swiss clocking in second while Klaus Kroell the winner of the final training run was third.
Canada's Erik Guay was fourth and American Bode Miller fifth, giving him the lead of the downhill standings. Aksel Lund Svindal was sixth, the final skier within a second of Defago's time, and regained the lead of the World Cup overall standings.
The win was defining for Defago who tore his left ACL while training at Zermatt in September 2010.
"I've been working back step by step,"Defago said. "I thank the medical team, the coaches and my family."
He said he had made no errors on the vicious Stelvio course. "I've always known I could ski fast at Bormio. Today I had a good run without any major mistakes."
Fourth is the best result Guay has ever produced at Bormio, and he said he is starting to feel more consistent. "All I can do now is have a good break at home and come back (strong) next year."
Miller said he made a mistake on a traverse and that there was no place where he could make up the time lost. "When it gets more dense and more water in the snow it responds quicker and my main problem is that I always go in a little too quickly and too straight - I'm not subtle on the skis - so on these big turns if it gets even more aggressive that's tough for me to adapt (to)."
Defago image by Gepa
by Hank McKee
Men's World Cup Downhill, Bormio, Italy, Dec. 29, 2011
1 Defago, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
2 Kueng, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
3 Kroell, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
4 Guay, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
5 Miller, Head/Head/Head
6 Svindal, Head/Head/Head
7 Clarey, Head/Head/Head
8 Cuche, Head/Head/Head
9 Reichelt, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
9 Paris, Nordica/Nordica/
Men's World Cup Downhill, Bormio, Italy, Dec. 29, 2011. ... It is the 13th race of the men's 45 race 2011-12 World Cup season. ... It is the fourth of 11 downhills scheduled, but the third to be held. ... It is the 52nd Cup race hosted by Bormio. ... the 23rd downhill. ... The 21st men's DH.
It is the fourth World Cup win for Didier Defago and third in downhill. ... He is also the Olympic DH champion having won at Whistler in 2010. ... He had twice been second at Bormio (In SG to Hannes Reichelt in March 13, 2008 and in DH to Andrej Jerman Dec. 29, 2009). ... He missed last season to a knee injury. ... It is the first Swiss win of the World Cup DH at Bormio.
It is a career best Cup result for Patrick Kueng and just his second podium, the other coming in DH at Garmisch March 10, 2010. ... He was previously fourth at Bormio last season.
It is the 14th career Cup podium result for Klaus Kroell. ... And his first at Bormio having finished fourth three times at the site. ... It is his second podium of the season after scoring third at Beaver Creek.
It is the 19th time Erik Guay has placed fourth or better in a World Cup race. ... the 11th time in DH. ... It is the 103rd time Bode Miller has finished fifth or better in a World Cup race. ... the 28th time in DH. ... and the sixth time in a Cup race at Bormio (5 DH, 1 SL). ... It is his third best result of the season in 10 completed races. ... It is the third best of three results scored at Bormio for Jan Hudec. ... his sixth score of the season.
Aksel Lund Svindal (sixth in race) takes the lead of the World Cup overall standings 456-425 over Marcel Hirscher (did not race). ... Ted Ligety (did not race) is third at 385. ... Miller is fifth with 343pts. ... Guay is top Canadian overall in 20th place with 140pts. ... Miller takes control of the downhill standings 174-165 over Kroell. ... Didier Cuche (8th in race) is third with 161pts. ... Guay is top Canadian in 12th with 64pts. ... Austria maintains the lead of the men's Nations Cup standings 2087-1429 for Switzerland. ... France is third at 1080. ... The US is fifth with 950pts and Canada eighth at 445pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||FIS Points|
|6||16||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||2:02.74||10.15|
|Disqualified 1st run|
|Did not finish 1st run|