The Downhill as viewed by the Athletes

Silvan Zurbriggen

Silvan Zurbriggen

The Downhill on the Saslong concludes with a surprise win by Silvan Zurbriggen. Read and listen here what the winner, silver medalist Romed Baumann and third placed Didier Cuche as well as several other skiers had to say about today's race.

Winner Silvan Zurbriggen: The Camel Humps were on my mind at 5:00 am this morning (French)
On his result: “It is unbelievable. I am just so happy that all went well and that I managed to ski such a good Downhill race. The 1/100 second game was on my side today. It is a beautiful day, indeed!”

On his fall on the Camel Humps in 2007: “Good luck goes hand in hand with bad. You don’t just forget about a fall like that. I had trouble falling asleep last night and the Camel Humps were on my mind at 5:00 am this morning already. The team and coaches took a very good look at that section of the Saslong. And I was pretty much standing up crossing them during the training runs, but today it all worked out!”

On this importance of his first “real” World Cup win: “The victory in the combination was a true win for me and it was very special to be standing there at the top of the podium. But I am truly proud for today’s victory as the Downhill is viewed as THE discipline to win. Add to it, that the Saslong is a real classic event where I witnessed both good and bad times. This is what makes this victory even sweeter.”

Klaus Kröll (Rank 4): This course is a true Downhill (German)
On the race: “This was a very tight race and I think we all made mistakes. I won’t even start to analyze my 11/100 of a second delay as everybody lost time at some point or another. It is very hard to ski this run perfectly because your speed is very high.”

On the Downhill in Gardena-Gröden: “This is the ski sport’s best advertisement. The course is a true Downhill. It’s the real thing, with long jumps and you spend quite a bit of time in the air. It is also a difficult run because everybody makes mistakes. And furthermore, suspension is running high, so it just can’t get much better.”

On the falls: “It might sound a little cruel, but falls are part of Downhill. But as long as we all get back up on our feet, it’s all right.”

Peter Fill (Rank 15): I made a few mistakes in the middle (German)
On his run: “Overall I am pleased with my performance. I gave it all even though I made a few mistakes in the middle.”

On yesterday’s snow fall: “The course hasn’t really changed that much since the training. The course work done has been great. You got slowed down only when drifting from the ideal line.”

Werner Heel (Rank 20): I skied too neatly (German)
On his race: „It just didn’t go that well overall. I think I skied too neatly in a few sections. I was trying too hard to stay on the line and got passive. I was really determined to give it all today.”

If it mattered at all that he was stopped during the first training run: “It didn’t really matter that I wasn’t able to finish the first training run in one go. I have enough experience to have a handle on that.”

Patrick Jaerbyn: I did what I could
On whether age and experience matter on the Saslong: “I think more than age it is the start number. That is the big thing here with the snow and the sun impacting the conditions on Ciaslat. I did what I could with my bib number 1 and skied really well here and there, not everywhere. I am very happy. I’m sure there will be a few higher numbers skiing good results.”

On whether the slope was slower today compared to the training runs: “Well, there was quite a bit of snow here yesterday. And even if you clear it all, you won’t be able to get it all away so every skier takes some away until it is getting slicker and slicker to that very hard stuff where there is no traction.”

On the Zurbriggen and Baumann ahead of you: “They are both great skiers so I am not that surprised but they also had high start numbers. I think you have to have that to to win here. I did what I could do with no. I and am very happy, though. Now I can go to Hawaii!

On his plans to come back: I love the valley, the skiing, the atmosphere, the food, the people here so I will come back for sure, I just don’t know if that will be next year.”

Dominik Paris (Rank 35): I pushed too hard on Ciaslat (German)
On the race: “I’m pretty happy. The Ciaslat was definitely my weak point, I pushed too hard. Otherwise, I had a good run. But I will learn more when looking at the analyses.”

Christof Innerhofer (Rank 22): The race is all that counts (German)
On his training lead and the result of the race: “Clocking a training run’s best time is nice as it boosts your confidence level. But the race is all that counts. I captured my first Downhill World Cup points here in Gardena-Gröden. This is a good start.”

On his run: “My run wasn’t perfect, particularly not the start. I totally missed the Looping. Maybe I wanted to jump too well. My hands where below the knees and I was leaning too far back. This is why I lifted the ski tips too high and lost all the speed for the flat section. That was it in terms of scoring a good place.”

Michael Walchhofer: I shouldn’t have watched that fall (German)
On the race: “I shouldn’t have watched the fall of Poisson. Watching that wasn’t ideal, you can’t just erase that from your mind. Generally speaking, I am happy with my result. A better placing would have been great. But his season will offer a few more opportunities.“

Didier Cuche: It wasn’t that easy after Poisson’s fall (German)
On his race: “I am pleased because it wasn’t that easy after Poisson’s fall. I was nervous and told myself to focus on my performance and to do the best I can.”

On the winner Silvan Zurbriggen: “It might be a little surprising although he has been constant in all races. Without putting any pressure on him, I think that he is one to keep an eye out for the rest of the season when he will add Super Combis to the Downhills. There is no clear athlete leading in this area this season.”

Romed Bauman (Platz 3): Found the right balance
On his form: “I’m feeling great at the moment after working hard in this summer’s season preparation.”

On his equipment: “This is my second season with this equipment and I think I’m at a good point and have found the right balance.”

On the tight race: “I turned last years’ bad luck into my advantage. The luck is on my side!”

More views will follow.