It’s not deja-vu, Italy’s Dominik Paris just knows something about the Stelvio Piste in Bormio the rest of us don’t. The big Italian captured his second win on home snow in as many days on Saturday, winning the men’s super-G by the slimmest of margins ahead of Austria’s reigning Olympic super-G champion, Matthias Mayer.
After one of the most challenging downhill days in recent memory on Friday with bullet-proof ice proving to be a formidable challenge for the men, Saturday’s super-G did not get any easier with high speeds and a challenging set causing fits for more than a few of the top-seeded racers.
Norway’s Stian Saugestad fell hard on the upper section of the course and was helicoptered to a local hospital after he was unable to get up on his own after a nearly 30-minute delay. Head Norwegian coach, Christian Mitter, told Norwegian television that the extent of his injuries are currently unknown but he is with a team doctor and his condition is being closely monitored. Saugestad also suffered a concussion after a crash in Kitzbuehel last season.
Mayer was the first of the top racers to truly figure out the tricky course on Saturday and enjoyed the leader’s chair for nearly 10 racers before Paris crossed the finish line. Much like in Friday’s downhill, Paris used some savvy skiing on the lower section of the course to pull ahead of the field with the Italian finding 0.34 seconds in the final turns to squeak out the win over Mayer by 0.01 seconds. Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde rounded out the podium in third, 0.46 seconds back.
“It’s really a special feeling today because I didn’t expect that I can win the super-G but I was the lucky one today with one-hundredth in front,” Paris said after the race. “Bormio is always special because it’s very hard. The slope is always icy, dark and bumpy. That’s what I like and it’s very difficult and I figured out some years ago how I can manage this course and now I bring every year some good feelings on this track. Super-G was a little bit special because there were all these turns and the speed is very difficult to bring down a good line.”
Even though Mayer missed out on a win by the smallest possible margin, the double Olympic gold medalist insisted that his performance on Saturday was all he could give with how challenging the week has been in Bormio. This was Mayer’s first World Cup podium of the season.
“I definitely won a second place,” he explained. “It was a good run for me and I attacked every gate and tried to be fast in every section. Dominik is in incredible shape, as you can see, and especially in the last section he was very fast. I think from the start to the last section I had a really good race. I don’t know why, but Dominik was so fast there so it was not possible for me to do the same time as him. It was a tough week because of the icy, bumpy conditions but we like that and we need more of these races.”
Kilde managed to bounce back from a disappointing downhill result on Friday to walk away from the series with his third podium of the season.
“It felt much better today from the morning, actually,” he said. “It was for sure a race where you had to be one-hundred percent on. It’s a tough race in Bormio and the course set wasn’t easy but you really had to hammer and had to let it go and for me, it went well today. Paris and Mayer were in a different league today but other than that it was a good day for me. Bormio is one of the coolest hills we have because it’s a lot of challenge with jumps and high speeds where it’s a little bit dark but that’s ski racing and we like it here in Bormio because it challenges the mind as well as the body in all kinds of ways.”
It was a tough day for the American contingent as Ryan Cochran-Siegle led the way for the Stars and Stripes in 22nd place and was closely followed by Steven Nyman, who charged from bib 60 to finish in 23rd. Thomas Biesemeyer and Ted Ligety finished in 41st and 42nd, respectively, with Bryce Bennett finishing 48th and Wiley Maple 55th. Jared Goldberg did not finish and Travis Ganong did not start for the second day in a row after his training crash on Thursday.
The men’s Tour has now wrapped up all of it’s 2018 racing and will head to Oslo, Norway for a parallel event on New Year’s Day.
- Dominik Paris (ITA)- Nordica/Nordica/Marker
- Matthias Mayer (AUT)- Head/Head/Head
- Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR)- Head/Head/Head
- Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT)- Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
- Max Franz (AUT)- Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
- Beat Feuz (SUI)- Head/Head/Head
- Adrian Smiseth Sejersted (NOR)- Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Marco Odermatt (SUI)- Stoeckli/Salomon
- Johan Clarey (FRA)- Head/Head/Head
- Mauro Caviezel (SUI)- Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
For complete FIS results, please click here.