By Patrick Lang
VAL GARDENA, Italy, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Aksel Lund Svindal tightened his grip on the men’s Alpine skiing World Cup with his third victory of the season in a super-G on Friday.
The Norwegian, winner of a downhill and a super-G in Lake Louise last month, clocked one minute 36.95 seconds and could, on current form, snatch another double in Saturday’s downhill on the same Saslong course.
“I trained really well in the summer and I’m in the form of my life,” said the 2007 and 2009 overall World Cup champion.
On Saturday, the opposition to the Olympic champion should again come from local skiers as Italy’s Matteo Marsaglia and Werner Heel were second and third on Friday.
Marsaglia, who earned his maiden World Cup victory in Beaver Creek two weeks ago, missed a second back-to-back super-G win by 1.07 seconds.
Heel, who finished 0.05 further down, won the Val Gardena super-G in 2008 but had not made it on to a World Cup podium for nearly three years.
Svindal narrowly avoided a crash on the final section.
“It was a very demanding course, full of turns and it suits me. I skied over the limit at times and it could have cost me dearly,” he said.
“I knew I could do well on the Saslong. I’ve had podiums in the past in super-Gs and it’s always great for morale to do well here.”
In the World Cup overall standings, Svindal leads American Ted Ligety by 132 points and defending champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria by 160.