Guay captures Gold coming from Behind



A perfectly executed bottom half of the race is what helped Erik Guay (CAN) win the race on the Saslong. After lagging by 9/100 secs at the top, he managed to finish the race with an advantage of 12/secs ahead of Kjetil Jansrud (NOR). Third place went to Johan Clarey (FRA, +24/100 secs). Our top contender and Super-G winner Aksel Lund Svindal did not manage a victory or even a podium on the Saslong today.

Three third and one second place is what Erik Guay has under his belt on the Saslong. Today, the 2011 Downhill World Champion finally managed to win gold. Guay the third Canadian after Rob Boyd (1986/1987) and Manuel Osborne-Paradis (2009) to win on the Saslong. For the longest time, it looked like the “other” Norwegian, Kjetil Jansrud, would win the race Svindal. Jansrud skied on a league of his own on the upper half of the course, but missed finding the optimal line on the lower course from Ciaslat onwards. It was the exact opposite for Guay, who also placed first and second in the two training runs. He was behind by 9/100s secs at the top but then found the perfect line and won coming all the way from behind to win.

The only one who would have deserved a win on the Saslong even more is Aksel Lund Svindal. He is the only triple Super-G winner on the Saslong, but a place on the Downhill podium remains elusive to Svindal. His performance lands the current Overall World Cup leader fourth, although he was the one exchanging leads with Guay during the training runs. Looks like he lost today’s race on Ciaslat, a section that should be up his alley.

Talking of Ciaslat: the wavy meadows were once again where the decision of this race was made. The entry into Ciaslat seemed to give racers with lower starting numbers some trouble, probably due to a faster course and scarcer snow level. Also the jumps were quite demanding this year, they were longer than ever.

Looks like the conditions were particularly favourable to the Canadians and Norwegians (each two placed in the top ten), but the Italians didn’t do so badly either: Werner Heel placed 8th and Peter Fill 10th. Fill’s relief after yesterday’s fall at the penultimate gate was almost visible. Fill lives only a few KMs from the Saslong in nearby Castelrotto/Kastelruth but never landed in the top ten here. Christoph Innerhofer was (once again) not pleased with his run. He placed outside the scoring group with 2.78 seconds delay.

The Austrian team might not be too thrilled with its results. The best Max Franz placed 11th, behind Georg Streitberger (12th), Matthias Mayer (14th) and Florian Scheiber (15th).