Feuz lays waste to Wengen field for DH win
Just a handful of kilometers from his hometown Beat Feuz claimed the 82nd running of the Lauberhorn downhill at Wengen Saturday (Jan. 14) for his second World Cup win of the season (SG Val Gardena). It is just his third career win and second in downhill, but he is the only man to have two wins in the last seven World Cup downhills dating back to last season. It gave him the lead of the downhill standings ahead of Bode Miller, the fifth place finisher, and moved him to third on the overall chart.
Austrian Hannes Reichelt, the first man out of the start house on a bright sunny day, put up a blistering pace on the 2.7mile long track that only Feuz, in bib 16, could match. Christof Innerhofer of Italy, the darling with three medals at the 2011 World Championships, finished third while Carlo Janka marked his return to form from back issues in strong fashion with fourth.
Miller placed fifth and Canadian Erik Guay tied for eighth.
The race was watched by a record 38,000 fans, the bulk waving Swiss flags, attracted in part because Feuz was considered the man to beat after handily winning the downhill leg of the Lauberhorn combined on Friday. Saturday he proved that was no fluke. He was fastest through the critical Kernen S turns high on the course with a margin of a half second over those who ran before him. Though he lost much of that margin before the final S-turns at the finish he found another gear and powered to a winning margin of .44, double that of any DH winning margin thus far this season. It was the third Swiss win of the Wengen DH in the last four seasons and the third of four downhills held this season.
Feuz said his placing in the combined had drawn considerable attention from Swiss and other media, something he wasn't use to. But he used that and criticizm about his conditioning to advantage. “I think I just showed you what my fitness is,” he said. “I am very relaxed on my skis and I think I proved it today by skiing the Zeil S absolutely perfectly.”
Reichelt wasn't complaining about second place. He had not made the team for the race last season. "I had some mistakes," Reichelt said, "but I did a good job and it was good to start number one. There were three parts where I lost the line. ... before the finish in the last agte, the Zeil-S, I was too late and I lost too much time. But Feuz he made up time there and also at the Minchkante. I had too much waiting and I lost time. But I am on the podium. It is a beautiful day."
Miller gave chase kicking out of the start powerfully and taking the lead at the first interval timer, silencing the massive crowd. Despite sliding wide at the Kernen turns he came out with a green light again above the flat, but he could not keep pace with Feuz through the middle of the course and slid back to fifth .77 back.
The result for Guay was a breakthrough. He had never placed better than 18th at Wengen.
Canadian Jan Hudec skied to 22nd and American Marco Sullivan to 27th.
Beat Feuz photo by Gepa
MORE TO COME
by Hank McKee
Men's World Cup Downhill, Wengen, Switzerland, Jan. 14, 2012
1 Feuz, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
2 Reichelt, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
3 Innerhofer, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
4 Janka, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
5 Miller, Head/Head/Head
6 Kroell, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
7 Fill, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
8 Baumann, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
8 Guay, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
10 Kueng, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
Men's World Cup Downhill, Wengen, Switzerland, Jan. 14, 2012. ... The 18th of 45 races on the men's 2012 World Cup schedule with one cancelation (city event Munich). ... The fifth of 11 downhills on the schedule and the fourth held. ... It is the 94th Cup races at Wengen. ... The 39th downhill. ... It is the second of three events scheduled at Wengen in the 82nd running of the Lauberhorn.
It is the third career World Cup win for Beat Feuz. ... his second in DH the other coming at the end of last season at Kvitfjell March 11. ... It is his second win of the season after the SG at Val Gardena Dec. 16, and his sixth podium of the season. ... He has been second three times this season including Friday's combined event at Wengen.
It is the 15th career World Cup podium placing for Hannes Reichelt. ... his second in DH. ... It is his third podium of the season and second in DH after a third place finish at Lake Louise Nov. 26.
It is the sixth career World Cup podium placing for Christof Innerhofer and his third in DH. ... his other two DH podiums have both come at Bormio. ... It is his first top 10 result of the season.
It is the 105th World Cup top five for Bode Miller. ... His 29th in DH. ... and his 12th at Wengen. ... It is his fifth top five of the season and third in DH. ... It is the 52nd Cup top 10 for Erik Guay. ... and is 10 placings better than any previous result at Wengen. ... It is his fourth top eight result of the season. ... It is the fourth DH score of the season for Jan Hudec. ... The first score at Wengen for Marco Sullivan since 2009. ... his fourth of the season.
Marcel Hirscher (did not race) maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 725-595 over Ivica Kostelic (38th in race). ... Feuz moves to third overall with 545. ... Ted Ligety (did not race) is fourth with 493pts and Bode Miller sixth with 448pts. ... Guay is top Canadian overall in 23rd place with 172pts. ... Feuz takes the lead of the downhill standings 260-219 over Miller. ... Klaus Kroell (sixth in race) is third at 205pts. ... Guay leads the Canadians in 11th with 96pts. ...Austria leads the men's Nations Cup 2951-1861 over Switzerland. ... Italy is third with 1609pts. ... the US fifth with 1222pts and Canada tenth with 561pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||FIS Points|
|12||21||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||2:36.66||11.56|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not finish 1st run|