Courtesy of http://www.fisalpine.com
BORMIO, Italy – The Christmas break is over and the Tour is back full force with Thursday’s first Downhill training in Bormio.
At 11.45 CET sharp, the first racer left the start gate and ventured on the famous Stelvio slope. The fastest man today was French skier Adrien Theaux, with a time of 2 minutes 00.72 seconds he seems to have managed the slope without a problem. Right behind the Frenchman, two Italians are defending the local colors – Christof Innerhofer, who won the race in 2008 finished his run in second place, 0.23 seconds behind the leader, while his teammate Dominik Paris rounded out the training podium with a time .98 slower then Theaux. The first skier to finish over a second behind the leading time was fourth ranked Johan Clarey.
“I like it when there is a lot going on on the slope,” Innerhofer said. “This is where my career kicked off in a way, my first top 10 and my first victory came here so I definitely know the slope really well. I am happy to see I am among the best in training and for sure Saturday I will give it all I have in the race.”
Bormio is tough, all skiers agree with that statement and Paris is no different.
“I felt good out of the start, conditions at the top were rather soft but not all that bad, especially with a good number it felt pretty good. I made a mistake at the Carcentina section but overall I am satisfied wit my training run. It’s not easy you can hardly see the bumps but there are sections where they are really big and its not easy to ski over them.
Aksel Lund Svindal, who has dominated the speed disciplines this year by finishing on the podium in five races so far, finished his first training run in sixth position, matching his best race result on the Stelvio slope. The Norwegian will for sure be looking to step up his game on race day even though he says the slope is all but easy.
“If we speak about races where one feels confident, powerful and comfortable on skis, Bormio doesn’t really fit that description,” Svindal described the Stelvio slope. “It’s bumpy and dark, there are points where your head is shaking so much that it’s not really easy to see where you are going. The course is overall very tough, you get tired in the bottom part but I feel ok, it wasn’t a perfect training run but I want to save energy for the race.”