Courtesy of fisalpine.com
WENGEN, Switzerland – The second day of Downhill training on the Lauberhorn couldn’t have been a smoother one. After a scare about a possible bad weather forecast, Johan Clarey paced Wednesday’s training, which was held on the complete course. The French skier crossed the finish line in 2 minutes, 34.62 seconds, leaving his teammate Adrien Theaux a mere 0.08 seconds behind. In third place, veteran Klaus Kroell who clocked a time 0.11 seconds slower then the leader’s.
“I was pushing a bit in today’s training. I have never done really well on this slope,” Clarey, whose best result in Wengen is an 18th place in 2012, said about his run. “It was really nice to ski today, the base is improving for each training and apart from a really bumpy left turn in the ‘Finish S’ the slope is in great shape. I am happy with how it went today, this slope is really tiring but also really fun.”
An 11th place in 2009 being his best result in the Wengen Downhill race, Adrien Theaux also seemed to have found a good pace during today’s training. The French praised the work which has been done to prepare the slope, and as his teammate Clarey found the ‘Finish S’ to be the most challenging section of the 4480m long slope.
“The slope is really good, it feels as if last night’s snowfall didn’t impact the base and that made it fun to ski,” Theaux commented on the fact that there were no signs of the previous night’s snowfall on the racecourse. “It’s always good to walk away from a training knowing that you are competitive and that the feeling you have coming down is a good one. The course is really long and today just about when I was starting to feel my legs getting tired I got to the ‘Finish S’ and had to find some last strength to keep it together on the bumps. All in all it was a good day for me!”
There was a special spectator in the finish area today, Beat Feuz, the winner of last year’s Downhill, showed up to support his teammates and catch up with the skiers.
“I would much rather be on the slope then here in the finish area,” Feuz said. “It’s painful having to watch it from the bottom and the only things that makes it easier is that my knee is getting better. That helps me stay positive. I will be here the whole weekend, I couldn’t miss this race!”
A last training is scheduled for Thursday and after that it’s when things are going to get serious as on Friday the first Super Combined of the season will kick off.