Jansrud wins SG before hometown fans
Kvitfjell, Norway (Sports Network) - Kjetil Jansrud finally earned the success he deserved in Norway by winning the second super G held this weekend in Kvitfjell on Sunday for his first World Cup victory after nine podium finishes - including two here in recent days.
The 26-year-old Norwegian, better known so far as a giant slalom specialist - clinching GS silver at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver - won with a time of 1 minute, 34.02 seconds to cap a weekend that also included third place in Friday's Super-G and second in Saturday's downhill. Compatriot Aksel Lund Svindal finished second, 0.21 seconds behind, and took a big step towards winning once more the super G crystal globe.
The 2010 Olympic champion now leads Swiss Didier Cuche by 42 points in the Super-G standings with one event left at the World Cup finals in Schladming next week. Cuche, a winner here in that event a year ago, came in sixth, 0.86 from Jansrud. He was fourth on Friday in the first Super-G in which Austrian Klaus Kroell and Beat Feuz shared first place.
Feuz, who has been disturbed in past weeks with pains in his left knee, slightly injured least month during the pre-Olympic races at Rosa Khutor near Sochi, finished a strong third after another impressive run down the 'Olimpiabakken' course. He increased his lead in the Overall standings to 115 points over Austria's Marcel Hirscher, who skipped the Kvitfjell weekend to concentrate on next weekend's technical races in Kranjska Gora.
JANSRUD TOOK FULL RISKS
Jansrud was as happy as relieved after the race as he explained that he took a maximum of risks to dominate the slope and his rivals after missing two victories in two days by a mere 0.05 seconds in total. "Yesterday night, prior to falling asleep, I told myself that I had already done great in both previous races and that I had nothing to lose on Sunday in charging as hard as possible," he told the press after the race.
"I took the straightest possible line today and cut the turns as much as possible. I was ready to ski out -I badly wanted to win that race," he added. "I could not dream of a better place to celebrate my maiden World Cup victory, on home soil in front of some of my fans and with another Norwegian besides me. This is really exciting."
His pal Svindal had nothing to regret after his superb run and fully enjoyed his second podium finish in a row. "It's a wonderful day for Kjetil and the entire team, it's great to see him finally on the top of the podium here, he has worked very hard to improve his potential in the speed events and his week here has been amazing," the leader from 'Team Norge' said. "We are such a small team so it's pretty special when two of us end up on the podium."
It's not the first time that two athletes from that tiny yet glorious team share a World Cup podium. It already occurred several times in all specialties, including here in 1996 when Lasse Kjus won the super-G in front of Luc Alphand from France and Kjetil Aamodt. In giant slalom and slalom too it has already been the case that two Norwegian took the two first places - yet it's the first time for them on home soil.
MORE 'BIG POINTS' FOR KROELL AND LAST RACE FOR JAERBYN
Kroell scored again some 'big' points with his fourth place - one hundredth ahead of his younger teammate Max Franz. This race was also marked by the significant seventh place for Finland's Andreas Romar, who equaled his best World Cup performance from Beaver Creek. It was by 0.45 seconds that he beat former super-G World Cup champion Hannes Reichelt while Canada's Erik Guay came in ninth ahead of Sweden's Hans Olsson.
Benjamin Raich, the superb winner at Crans-Montana last week, had to be content with a more modest 24th place in Norway. On Friday, the former Overall World Cup champion skied out in the first competition of this Scandinavian weekend.
Swede's veteran Patrik Jaerbyn didn't score any points with his 45th place, yet the 41-year-old received an emotional round of applause by his colleagues at the finish area after ending the very last World Cup race of his career which began over 20 years ago.
Jaerbyn, the bronze medalist in downhill at Are in 2007, achieved one of his World Cup podiums finishes here in the mid 1990s. This year, he only scored a few points and is in 137th position in the Overall standings prior the next tech races in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.
The thrilling 'flat-land' competition between racers from The Netherlands, Denmark and Lithuania was dominated by Dutch Marvin Van Heek who came in 58th losing 'only' 6.16 seconds on Jansrud - beating by 1.64 seconds Christoffer Faarup from Hamlet's country while Roberts Rode from the Baltic Republic was 60th (and 3rd in that 'special' event) 2.33 seconds back.
HIRSCHER READY TO FIGHT BACK AT KRANJSKA GORA
The men's World Cup resumes next week at Kranjska Gora, in Slovenia, where a giant slalom and a slalom are scheduled on the spectacular 'Podkoren' course. Marcel Hirscher - a winner here in giant slalom two years ago - will try hard there to make-up his delay on Feuz in the general classification. The 25-year- old Swiss is not sure yet to be able to enter the giant slalom there as he first want specialist to check his injured knee prior making-up his mind.
"It was fine today, I didn't feel any strong pain on my way down which is the best news of the day with that 3rd place," a smiling Feuz said after the race. "I could fully attack the course today, so I hope things will soon go even better," he added. "I'm really happy with my performances here this weekend. I reached way more than thought in those three races."
"The next week and the World Cup Finals in Austria will be very exciting for all the favorites. I believe that Marcel Hirscher will also score tons of points in Slovenia next weekend so everything will be decided during the last days at Schladming. It's good for the sport and for us too. What ever happened from now on - I'll be more than satisfied with my season. I already reached so much, it's incredible. I hope that Ivica Kostelic will also be racing soon," also commented the young Swiss who has scored a dozen of podiums this season.
OFFICIAL RESULTS - Kvitfjell, Norway
Men's Super G
1. Kjetil Jansrud, NOR, 1:34.02; 2. Aksel Lund Svindal, NOR, 1:34.23; 3. Beat Feuz, SUI, 1:34.28; 4. Klaus Kroell, AUT, 1:34.75; 5. Max Franz, AUT, 1:34.76; 6. Didier Cuche, SUI, 1:34.88; 7. Andreas Romar, FIN, 1:34.93; 8. Hannes Reichelt, AUT, 1:35.30; 9. Erik Guay, CAN, 1:35.39; 10. Hans Olsson, SWE, 1:35.41.
Other North Americans
19. Jan Hudec, CAN, 1:36.06; 23. Andrew Weibrecht, USA, 1:36.30; 28. Jeffrey Frisch, CAN, 1:36.61; 41. Benjamin Thomsen, CAN, 1:36.93; 43. Thomas Biesemeyer, USA, 1:37.08; 51. Travis Ganong, USA, 1:37.64; 52. Dustin Cook, CAN, 1:37.67; 54. Louis-Pierre Helie, CAN, 1:37.84.
DID NOT FINISH 1ST RUN
Marco Sullivan, USA; Robbie Dixon. CAN
03/04 15:58:10 ET