Svindal gains SG crown without scoring finals point
Aksel Lund Svindal got the super G trophy today (March 15) without gaining a point.
In the eighth and final men's super G of the 2012 World Cup season, the men at the top of the standings finished 16th (Aksel Lund Svindal), ninth (Didier Cuche), DNF (Beat Feuz) and eighth (Kjetil Jansrud).
Instead the top of the race finish order contained a man fighting to maintain his seeding for next season (Christof Innerhofer) and a pair of GS masters, (Alexis Pinturault and Marcel Hirscher) both with personal best finishes in the discipline.
On a bright sunny day the ample Schladming stands were packed with those hopeful for more Austrian successes after Klaus Kroell's win of the downhill title Wednesday had touched off a bit of March Madness in the streets that continued throughout the night. And with nine skiers making their way through the start house Austria had a third of the entry list increasing the odds of more heroics.
The sun worked its magic breaking down the hard snow as it climbed higher leaving early start numbers with a clear advantage. Most of the Austrians seemed to struggle finding the right line on this little know track built for next season's World Championships.
One who didn't was Hirscher and his early start (bib three) helped put the crowd in a fine mood of anticipation. Virtually forced to race in his second speed event of the season to solidify his chance to compete for the overall title, Hirscher skied perhaps a touch tentative early, but seemed to calm as the run progressed and was in his element in a series of tighter high speed turns well down the hill. He took the early lead, only to have Pinturault over take him, leading from start to finish.
A few skiers later Innerhofer, experiencing a down season after winning the super G world championship in 2011 and in danger of getting knocked down the seeding ladder for next season, got his first career World Cup super G win.
"Of course now I want the season to continue," he said, "but when I think back to last week when my back was in such bad shape I couldn't pick my skis up off the snow, I think maybe it is time to get some rest."
The threat from the “big guns” never materialized. Svindal was more than a half second back at the first interval and continued to drop back, opening the door for Cuche and Feuz to take the title from him.
Cuche, in the final speed race of his spectacular career had one nasty bobble that cost him any chance to win. He finished, executed the ski-flip and blew kisses to the crowd.
Feuz, the model of consistency all season, cracked big time, his skis coming out from under him he slid down on his side and failed to finish. That not only took his chance of unseating Svindal away, his lead of the overall standings can now be firmly tested by Hirscher, 75pts back as the schedule shifts to races in his increasing range of expertise.
Svindal acknowledged it wasn't his best race, but he wasn't about to give his new trophy away.
“I didn't too good today so in a way I did not accomplish what I had in my mind this morning," Svindal said. "But the globe is an award for the whole season and not for a single day or race so I'll take it. It was tight at the top. Didier (Cuche) had to be among the top four or five to beat me and there wasn't much room up there.”
Hirscher seemed amazingly calm considering the pressure of the fight for the overall title. He spent much of the time waiting for the rest of the racers to finish sitting in the stands amid family and friends, and showed no emotion when Feuz fell.
“This is almost unreal, I can hardly believe it,” he said of his podium finish in his second World Cup SG. “I was feeling good, but I didn't expect such a result.”
As for the overall title chase, which Feuz still leads, Hirscher said “I don't want to make calculations. We'll make them on Sunday. Feuz showed today that mistakes can happen any time.”
Said Feuz, “I made a classic mistake and I skidded out. Hirscher is now the favorite, but I will keep fighting.”
“Until a few hours ago it was all about Feuz for the overall,” said
Svindal, “and now Hirscher is really in an attacking position. It's
going to be an interesting end of the season.”
The two Americans in the race, Andrew Weibrecht and Ted Ligety, started in the last two positions on a course raggedly roughed up. Weibrecht, like Feuz, finished on his side, sliding off course. Ligety charged and did well to finish tenth his fourth best career SG result.
The Canadians, already packed for their return home, had Jan Hudec 12th and Eric Guay 19th. Hudec passed Guay in the overall standings to become the top scoring Canadian.
Svindal photo by Gepa.
by Hank McKee
Men's World Cup super G, Schladming, Austria, March 15, 2012
1 Innerhofer, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
2 Pinturault, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
3 Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4 Marsaglia, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
5 Reichelt, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
5 Raich, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
7 Mayer, Head/Head/Head
8 Jansrud, Head/Head/Head
9 Cuche, Head/Head/Head
10 Ligety, Head/Head/Head
Men's World Cup super G, Schladming, Austria, March 15, 2012. ... It is the 41st of 45 races on the men's 2012 World Cup schedule with one cancellation and two races remaining. ... It is the eighth of eight scheduled super G's.
It is the third career World Cup win for Christof Innerhofer. ... his first in super G the others coming in downhill (Dec. 28, 2008 Bormio) and combined (Feb. 26, 2011). ... He was also a triple World Championship medalist last season winning the super G gold. ... It is his second podium of this season having placed third in DH at Wengen Jan. 14.
It is the seventh career World Cup podium placing for Alexis Pinturault. ... his first in super G. ... It is his sixth podium of the season.
It is the 26th career World Cup podium placing for Marcel Hirscher. ... his first in super G. ... It is his 13th podium of the season.
North Americans: It is the 84th career World Cup top 10 for Ted Ligety. ... his fourth in super G. ... It is his 15th top 10 of the season and first in super G, his best previous SG result this season a 22nd at Crans Montana Feb. 25. ... It is the 21st career top 12 for Jan Hudec. ... his 11th of the season including three 12th place finishes. ... It is his second top 12 in two days. ... It is the 105th top 20 Cup result for Erik Guay. ... 41st in super G.
Standings: Beat Feuz (DNF) maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings with two races remaining 1330-1255 over Marcel Hirscher. ...Svindal is third with 1131pts. ... No other men can win the overall. ... Ted Ligety is ninth overall with 829pts.... Jan Hudec is top Canadian in 16th place with 548pts. ... The final SG standings are led by Aksel Lund Svindal (16th in race) 413-400 over Didier Cuche (ninth in race). ... Feuz is third with 368pts. ... Hudec is top North American in sixth with 264pts. ... Bode Miller (did not race) is top US skier in SG standings in 16th with 119pts. ... It is the third super G title for Svindal who also won in 2006 and 2009. ... Austria leads the men's Nations Cup 7219-4290 over Switzerland. ... Italy is third with 3713. ... The US is sixth with 2095 and Canada seventh with 1701pts.
FIS World Cup
Men's Super G
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||FIS Points|
|16||16||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||1:22.45||15.79|
|Did not finish 1st run|