With a couple of finishes back in the twenties last weekend in Lake Louise, Italian Christof Innerhofer flew a bit under the radar at Beaver Creek in America’s only downhill today (Nov. 30). The Birds of Prey course had seen a huge amount of traffic over three days of training runs and had developed enough rough spots to take out two of the first five racers. Innerhofer, however, has had the bulk of his success on difficult, icy tracks and he embraced the challenge putting down a run in the ninth bib that stood out immediately as being fast.
Aksel Lund Svindal locked down the downhill tour lead having made some last second alterations to his planned line and despite a series of errors found speed in surprising spots on course to take second. Kjetil Jansrud, the only other Norwegian beside Svindal in the field, also made the podium, his third scored at Beaver Creek, but just the second he’s ever recorded in downhill.
“I am so happy,” said Innerhofer a triple medalist at last season’s World Championships. “I’ve never been in the top ten here at Beaver Creek so this is unbelievable to me. It is so crazy because my back problems kept me from training until September so my training was very little”
Svindal knew Innerhofer was going to be tough to beat and skied a bit too close to the edge. “I wasn’t very clean,” he said, “but I compensated by going hard. … All I know is that I need to try to be fast. I try not to change (my plan) but it’s hard not to when someone has been fast. You know you need to take the risk but be clean the whole way down.”
The Americans got 16th from Travis Ganong, Marco Sullivan in 18th and Ted Ligety just missed points in 31st. The Candians had Erik Guay in 15th, Ben Thomsen tied Ganong, Jan Hudec was 24th and Manuel Osborne-Paradis also scored in 28th.
Jansrud said the course at Beaver Creek is “some of the hardest two minutes of work on the tour,” and said he is still working to get his equipment dialed in the way he wants.
“I had a couple of problems with equipment in the training yesterday. It was better today but I still have a few places that felt strange.”
After a dazzling fourth in training Ganong was still happy with scoring points with his team leading 16th. “I’m definitely happy with my result today. Last week in Lake Louise was tough so it’s good to be in the points. I know I made a bunch of mistakes and I’m still competitive with those mistakes. I know when I have a mistake free run I’ll probably be right up there.”
He said his mistakes included getting tossed on the brink and then getting “squashed” in the pump house.
Sullivan was also happy considering. “It was an obviously tight race today. I had one bobble in the middle coming around the corner before Screech Owl there and that killed my speed for the flat. I was about 1.4 out I think, so with that mistake I had I can’t be too disappointed with that.”
by Hank McKee
Men’s World Cup Downhill, Beaver Creek, USA, Nov. 30, 2012
1 Innerhofer, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
2 Svindal, Head/Head/Head
3 Jansrud, Head/Head/Head
4 Scheiber, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
5 Paris, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
6 Streitberger, Head/Head/Head
7 Clarey, Head/Head/Head
8 Fill, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9 Kroell, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
10 Defago, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
Men’s World Cup Downhill, Beaver Creek, USA, Nov. 30, 2012. … It is the ninth race of the 74 race 2012-13 World Cup season. … The fifth of the 36 race men’s schedule and the second of nine slated downhills. … It is the 48th Cup race hosted at Beaver Creek. … the 17th downhill.
It is the fourth career World Cup victory for Christof Innerhofer and his second in downhill the previous coming at Bormio Dec. 28, 2008. … He had previously been fourth at Beaver Creek twice, in super G Dec. 4, 2010 and Dec. 6, 2008 also in super G.
It is the 44th career World Cup podium placing for Aksel Lund Svindal. … his 13th in downhill and his second in downhill this season having won the opener in Lake Louise. … It is his 27th Cup score at Beaver Creek and his ninth podium at the site.
It is the 11th career Cup podium for Kjetil Jansrud and his second in downhill, the other a second place finish at Kvitfjell March 3, 2012. … It is his third podium score at Beaver Creek, though he has also been fourth three times at the site.
Erik Guay matches his third best DH result at Beaver Creek. … It is the third best career Cup result for Travis Ganong and his first score at Beaver Creek. … Ben Thomsen matches his sixth best (of 12) World Cup placing. … Marco Sullivan matches his 34th best Cup result. … It is his fourth best career finish at Beaver Creek. … It is the fifth best of six Cup results at Beaver Creek for Jan Hudec. … Manuel Osborne-Paradis matches his fourth best finish at Beaver Creek.
Svindal has control of the World Cup Overall Standings 280-170 over Ted Ligety (31st in race). … Marcel Hirscher (did not race) is third with 140pts. … Guay is the top Canadian in 13th place with 80pts. … Svindal leads the downhill standings 180-104 over Innerhofer and Jansrud and Klaus Kroell are tied for third with 89pts. … Marco Sullivan is the top American on the downhill chart in eighth with 73pts. … Guay the top Canadian in 11th with 56pts. … Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup 898-596 over Italy. … Norway is third with 443pts. …The US is fifth with 317pts and Canada seventh with 185pts.
Beaver Creek (USA)
FIS World Cup
Nov. 30, 2012
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||FIS Points|
|2||18||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||1:41.92||3.10|
|42||58||400281||VAN HEEK Marvin||1991||NED||1:44.12||32.74|
|Did not finish 1st run|