Sullivan screams to podium behind Svindal at Lake Louise
Marco Sullivan has one of the broadest smiles anyone has ever seen. After the first downhill of the 2012-13 World Cup season at Lake Louise today (Nov. 24) it flashed as wide as these Rocky Mountains are high and these are the highest in Canada.
After two seasons with no finish in single digits, Sullivan waited out a lengthy course hold, shrugged off the only cloud cover of the day and came out of the 42nd start to post third, the fourth Cup podium of his career.
"I thought he could make top 10," said coach Sasha Rearick. "But from Coaches (Corner) down he skied great. ... and that was the most difficult, bumpiest part of the course."
The win went to Aksel Lund Svindal with a dazzling display of ski racing, cutting every corner he could find to overtake the early leader Max Franz, the young Austrian who held on for second.
Svindal said conditions had been better for the early runners, such as
Franz who skied third. If that was true or not he said, “I wanted to try
to get this win, so I was cutting the line everywhere I could. The snow
was a touch better (than in training) so I knew I could get away with a
little more aggressive a line. And that really works.”
result from Franz, his first finish better than fifth, wasn't such a big
surprise as he had taken the first training run here. He said that run
had built his confidence and had him looking forward to the rest of the
season. “It's a breakthrough,” he said.
It was Sullivan's run, however, that had the North American audience at Lake Louise buzzing. He tied the defending downhill champion, Klaus Kroell, for the placing, and Kroell said he was happy with the result "because I've never started (a season) this well."
Sullivan said he wasn't exactly sure why he had been able to turn up the volume on his run. “I've been skiing well all week and there's just something about race day it brings it out in me. Being Lake Louise, one of the most comfortable tracks we have, I've been racing it since Nor-Ams. We had a big hold just before me and it gave me time to reflect on it. I've had some poor seasons coming into this and I just wanted to throw one down and it happened.”
He said "I've been skiing well all week and thought I could get top 10, but this is beyond my expectations."
The course hold was due to Italian Mattia Casse's crash. He flipped into the nets and was airlifted off the course with a shoulder injury, then taken by ground transportation to the medical center in nearby Banff.
The home standing Canadians had some things to cheer about as well with Erik Guay, still dealing with knee issues, posting sixth. Jan Hudec got 18th and Manuel Osborne-Paradis was disappointed with a 22nd place finish. The had been looking bleak for the US before Sullivan's run. Ryan Cochran-Siegle got points in 25th starting three spots behind Sullivan.
Sullivan photo by Gepa
by Hank McKee
Men's World Cup downhill, Lake Louise, CAN, Nov. 24, 2012
1 Svindal, Head/Head/Head
2 Franz, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Sullivan, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Kroell, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
5 Stechert, Head/Head/Head
6 Guay, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
7 Fayed, Head/Head/Head
8 Paris, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
9 Jansrud, Head/Head/Head
10 Clarey, Head/Head/Head
Men's World Cup downhill, Lake Louise, CAN, Nov. 24, 2012. ... It is the fifth race of 73 on the 2012-13 World Cup calendar. ... the third of 36 scheduled men's races and the first of nine slated downhills. ... It is the 86th Cup race held at least in part at Lake Louise. ... and the 54th downhill.
It is the 17th career World Cup win for Aksel Lund Svindal. ... his sixth in downhill. ... It is his fourth win at Lake Louise, but his first in downhill, the rest all coming in super G.
It is the first career World Cup podium placing for Max Franz. ... His previous best had been fifth scored once in SG at Val Gardena (Dec. 16, 2011) and once in SG at Kvitfjell (March 4, 2012). ... He had placed 25th in DH and 15th in SG in his only other starts at Lake Louise, last season.
It is the fourth career Cup podium for Marco Sullivan, all of them coming in DH. ... It is his first podium since January of 2009. ... His other top three results include a win at Chamonix (Jan 26, 2008), a second at Lake Louise (Nov. 24, 2007) and at Wengen (Jan. 17, 2009).
It is the 19th career Cup podium placing for Klaus Kroell. ... All but three of them in DH. ... It is his first podium at Lake Louise having placed fifth at the site three times previously.
Erik Guay matches his 29th best World Cup finish in sixth. ... It is his fourth best finish at Lake Louise, but he had not placed better at the site since 2009. ... It is the 28th best career result for Jan Hudec. ... And matches his eighth best at Lake Louise. ... He won at the site in 2007. ... It is the sixth best of eight World Cup results at Lake Louise for Manuel Osborne-Paradis. ... It is a career best (of three) scoring finishes for Ryan Cochran-Siegle. ... His first score at Lake Louise.
Marcel Hirscher (did not race) maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 140-130 over Manuel Moelgg (did not race). ... Ted Ligety (did not race) is third at 120. ... Svindal moves into a tie for fourth with Andre Myhrer (did not race) with 100pts. ... Austria leads the Men's Nations Cup 552-307 over Italy. ... Sweden is third with 215pts and the US fourth with 214. ... Canada is eighth with 86pts.
Lake Louise (CAN)
FIS World Cup
Nov. 24, 2012
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||FIS Points|
|1||22||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||1:48.31||0.00|
|54||59||400281||VAN HEEK Marvin||1991||NED||1:52.31||50.60|
|Did not finish 1st run|