Sandro Villeta joined the ranks of World Cup victors Saturday (Dec. 3) on a grey and snowy day at Beaver Creek, Colorado to become just the second Swiss to win the Birds of Prey super G. It was a result that caught most by surprise and one that gave Salomon skis its first win of the season after scoring podiums in every previous men’s race this season.
Aksel Lund Svindal finished second adding an eighth Beaver Creek podium to his record and a second Swiss, Beat Feuz continued his string of big time results adding his third podium result of this so far short season in third.
The Canadians were poised to produce a break-out race with Robbie Dixon and Erik Guay both sitting in podium positions early in the day. Dixon slid to fourth when Viletta, in bib 30, came through the snow for the win. Guay wound up seventh unseated by several of the pre-race favorites.
Bode Miller survived one big mistake high on the course to get a finish, but lost his chance to follow up the downhill win here Friday with a second win.
Svindal said Viletta had well deserved to win for his skiing through the upper, very technical, part of the course. “I just wasn’t clean enough, I had some mistakes, not big mistakes,” Svindal said. “Viletta, he was carrying the speed all the way up there. I had to throw them sideways a couple times and he skied really well up there.”
Viletta said he had been inspired by Miller’s downhill race to take more risks than he might normally. “I heard Bode say he took risks,” Viletta said. “So I did the same today.”
He added that trying to emulate Miller was not what he was trying to accomplish. “To ski like him is not possible.”
The course was a man’s test of ski racing skills with much at stake early on one of the steepest start sections on the World Cup. With a need for a high line required to stay on course and maintain speed, skiers found themselves tested early and often with three of the top group skiing off course and many more finding themselves struggling to make gates. Miller was one of them. He said he had trouble getting an edge as he entered the fourth gate, then got caught in fresh snow when he went wide.
In what could only be called “Bodesque” fashion, he recovered with one ski well up in the air to his side, and carved a turn on the inside edge of his other to somehow make the next gate. He continued to the finish and placed. “I have no idea,” he replied when asked how he could possibly recovered.
Third place finisher Feuz, like Viletta a Salomon skier was happy to give his ski technicians some credit. “They were unbelievably fast,” he said of his skis. The result was his third podium result of the season.
Andrew Weibrecht upheld U.S. honor in tenth with a great run from the 34th start. Tommy Ford contributed 27th place and Ryan Cochran-Siegle attacked from the back of the pack for 29th place and his first World Cup points, an event witnessed by his mother, Olympic gold medalist Barbara Cochran.
by Hank McKee
Men’s World Cup super G, Beaver Creek, USA, Dec. 3, 2011
1 Viletta, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
2 Svindal, Head/Head/Head
3 Feuz, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
4 Dixon, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
5 Reichelt, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
6 Jansrud, Head/Head/Head
7 Guay, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
8 Raich, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9 Cuche, Head/Head/Head
10 Weibrecht, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
Men’s World Cup super G, Beaver Creek, USA, Dec. 3, 2011. … It is the fifth race of the men’s 45 race 2011-12 World Cup season. … The second of eight super G’s. … It is the 43rd World Cup hosted at Beaver Creek. … the 12th super G. … Austrian skiers have won six of them, Norwegians two. …It is the second of six races slated for Beaver Creek, three originally scheduled and three moved from Val d’Isere, France.
It is the first career World Cup win for Sandro Viletta and his first podium. … His previous best SG result was seventh at Hiterstoder Feb. 5, 2011. …. He had not placed better than 10th previously at Beaver Creek (Dec. 4, 2009 combined).
It is the 38th career World Cup podium result for Aksel Lund Svindal. … his 13th in super G. … and his
eighth Cup podium scored at Beaver Creek. … second at Beaver Creek in SG, the other a win in 2008. … It is his second podium result of the season, the other a win in SG at Lake Louise.
It is the fifth career World Cup podium result for Beat Feuz and first in SG. … It is his third podium of the season and second in two days having placed second in DH at both Lake Louise and Beaver Creek.
Robbie Dixon matched his career best placing, the previous scored in SG at Kvitfjell Feb. 2, 2008. … Erik Guay matched his 18th best SG result. … It is his second best in SG at Beaver Creek having placed second in 2005. … Andrew Weibrecht matched his career best World Cup result which was also scored at Beaver Creek but in DH in 2007. … It was the fourth best SG result at Beaver Creek for Bode Miller. … It is the second best of three SG results scored by Jan Hudec at Beaver Creek. … It is the sixth best of six Cup scoring results for Tommy Ford and his second score of the season in SG. … It is the first career scoring result for Ryan Cochran-Siegle in his fourth career World Cup start.
Svindal holds the Cup SG standings 180-109 over Didier Cuche (9th in race). … Viletta moves to third with 108pts. … Guay leads Canadians with 76pts. … Svindal also leads the overall standings 2650238 over Cuche. … Feuz sits third overall with 231. … Miller (21st in race) is fourth at 197. … Jan Hudec (22nd in race) leads Canadians overall in 11th with 96pts. … Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup 821-817 over Switzerland. … France is third at 521. … The US is fourth with 381pts and Canada sixth with 262pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||FIS Points|
|2||11||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||1:18.91||2.69|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|35||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA|