Super G as viewed by the Athletes

Michael Walchhofer has won the Super-G in impressive manner. What he along with surprise second-placed Stephan Keppler and third-ranked Erik Guay as well as other athletes had to say about the race can be read here.

Winner Michael Walchhofer: This was my best Super-G, ever!
On his victory: “This was my best Super-G ever. I knew that I did well when crossing the finish line but I didn’t dare to think gold!”

On his ride over Ciaslat: “I took the exit from Ciaslat beautifully. I felt that I had super speed. There were a few tight gates right after that and I took that as a good sign. It’s critical to take gates very tightly in the Super-G. Ideally, you take the full course in schuss!”

On the snow fall: “I think I caught the tail-end of good visibility but I think the course was slowed down by the snow. That must have made it harder for skiers behind me. I skied off the ideal line only once and immediately noticed how the fresh snow was pulling back my skies.”

On tomorrow’s Downhill: “Whenever I ski well in the Super-G, I tend to be slower in the Downhill. I hope that is about to change. It is important to be at the top tomorrow. But I have to remain well-grounded. To win here a fifth time with both Ghedina and Klammer having won four times would be incredible. My plan is to restrain myself from celebrating too much and to try tomorrow to take it easy.”

Walchhofer re-iterated at the press conference following the race that these are his last races on the Saslong as he intends to retire at the end of the season.

Stephan Keppler: My run was perfect (German)
On his performance: “The run was perfect. I was fast from top to bottom. I never thought to be that far ahead and it caught me by total surprise. My best result here was an 8th place. Looks like this course is made for me.”

On his bib number: “The low bib number was definitely an advantage. The snow fall was getting heavier. I think it was fair for the first 25 racers, but definitely much harder after that.”

On the World Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen: “We’ll have home advantage and it’s our course. We’ll certainly try to ski our best. We’ll also train there ahead of the WC to make the most of it.”

Erik Guay: I would like to win on the Saslong
About his run: "I was feeling very good at the start, had a lot of energy. I made a little mistake over the first Mauer, I only saw the outside gate and was going towards it, so I had to break there. But the rest of the course I think I skied really well, I was aggressive, cutting off the line, good over the roles, so my feeling was good. I like racing here."

About several good results on the Saslong: "I am happy with the third place. Sure, I would like to win on this slope, but we will see how it goes tomorrow. Right now I am just happy to be on the podium."

About the fresh snow and tomorrow’s Downhill race: "I think it will affect the race. We will see slower times now with some new snow on the track. But this is not a bad thing, considering that we had very fast times in the training runs. My training runs were pretty consistent so I have a good feeling for tomorrow."

Werner Heel: I am confident for tomorrow (German)
On his run: “I skied a little too passively on Ciaslat because the visibility was less than perfect. This is where I lost speed necessary for the final section of the race. Nevertheless, I am positive and confident that I will run another strong result tomorrow.”

On his form: “The season is still young and I hope to be able to reach 100% - be in top form - in January.”

On the impact of the snow-fall on the track: “I don’t think that the snow made much of a difference. And depending on how much it will snow, the course might not be that much slower tomorrow. The perfect line will certainly be cleared from all the fresh snow and continue to remain fast. There are obviously other factors to be taken into consideration when determining speed. Visibility also slows athletes because they are little more careful.”

Benjamin Raich: Walchhofer was untouchable
On his race: “My emotions were mixed at the Finish because you just never know exactly how well you do. But I’m happy. Michael was extremely fast, he was untouchable to me, and I was close to a few others. I lost time – and thus the race – on Ciaslat. The light was flat but I don’t think Michael had an advantage over me.”

Carlo Janka: Ciaslat is not my friend this time
On his run: “Ciaslat is not my friend his weekend. You have to get the entry 100% right or else you will have to fight it on the turns – this will not change in tomorrow’s Downhill. Otherwise, my run was all right. I think the visibility was the same for all of us so I’m actually pretty happy with my 8th rank. Also, the equipment worked out well.”

On the line setting: “The line setting was fast but that little amount of fresh snow has slowed the track. That made skiing it more beautiful than I had expected after the recognizance.”

If he has a better idea on how to run tomorrow’s Downhill: “In theory yes, but whether I’m able to turn it into reality is not so clear. I will certainly give it all.”

Aksel Lund Svindal: Was scared in mid-air
On his fall: “I have seen on TV that many had difficulties with these turns. Which is why I wanted to get it over with fast taking all the speed with me. Bad light and a few bumps made me tilt right as I was about to switch to my other leg in the middle of a roll.”

On the visibility: “It was getting dark. I think conditions worsened after the first ten skiers had started and the snow fall also began to intensify. But you also know full well standing at the start that you have to give it all if you want to place on the podium. I think I risked a little too much and that is why I fell.”

On the consequences of the fall: “The fall was a close call. I was scared in mid-air because I knew the ground where I was about to land to be flat. Which is why I tried to land sideways to protect my back and my knees. I think I’ll have a few bruises to show for it.”

Peter Fill: I wasn’t able to capitalize on the speed in the Camel Humps (Italian)
On his run: “I think that the conditions were equal for all. My problem was that I wasn’t able to take the speed from the turns on the Camel Humps with me. Apart from that, I am happy, I skied aggressively. I think I always have a hard time on the Saslong.“