BEAVER CREEK – The third and last downhill training in Beaver Creek was yet another showcase at the Birds of Prey course at its best. In the three days of training, the weather and course conditions stayed consistent and provided skiers with an opportunity to properly test the challenging course.
After winning both the downhill and the super G in Lake Louise the previous weekend, the Norwegian champion proved today once again that he is at the top of his game in the speed disciplines. With a time of 1 minute, 42.04 seconds he finished a mere 0.18 seconds behind Guillermo Fayed who finished second. In third place, a skier that seems to be finding the Birds of Prey less of a challenge than in the past, Siegmer Klotz once again found his way into the top three and finished .36 seconds behind the leading time.
“My approach these three days was to take it easy in the beginning,” Aksel Lund Svindal said. “In second training I tested some equipment and it didn’t work well – but with three trainings you can do that. My skiing was not there yesterday so last night I spent a lot of time watching videos, and I watched the best run but mostly focused on watching what I did and trying to figure out how to clean it out. The bottom line is you can’t have slow sections in this race if you want to be competitive. “
Beaver Creek is always a bit of a different race for Svindal, as he suffered a horrific crash on the Golden Eagle jump five years ago.
“I skied this course in my head so many times after my crash that I can really say I know it well,” he says. “This year I feel more stable then last year, I was leading the Overall up until New Year and that’s when Hirscher and Feuz started winning everything… This year the goal is to be consistent through the whole season. Feuz is not here but Hirscher and probably Ted Ligety will be able to challenge me. I have been working on that, as last year super G was good last year but downhill and GS had too many ups and downs. I want to race every race for a top finish, and even if I don’t get it, now I know at least that I am there among the best.”
Klotz keeps being the surprise of the training days as you normally don’t see a guy that never scored points in a downhill on a particular course make it into the top three in two training runs in a row.
“This summer I was already feeling good so it’s great to see that translate into some great training runs,” Klotz commented the past few days. “Normally slopes like the Beaver Creek one are not ideal for me, but this year it seems to be working well so far. I gave it my best in the training runs and now all I can do is hope that I can keep it up on race day.”