Jansrud: “The Saslong is a Pleasure”

Here are the comments of the skiers immediately after the race:

Kjetil Jansrud (NOR), 1st in 1.57:83
I started the first training run a bit more slowly and did not fully capitalize on the jumps. Today I took off the brakes, but I still have some reserves left. The jumps are long this year, but they were slightly shaved off since yesterday making them safer for the athletes. The entry into the Ciaslat is bigger this year. This is how it should be on the course: it’s wonderful to race as long as it is not dangerous. The racer should have to work hard on the Saslong. The conditions are incredibly beautiful, as good as never really - you have to enjoy that!

Steven Nyman (USA), 2nd with +0,05
Skied pretty well but made a mistake in the Ciaslat entry as my line was a little too tight. I can do better tomorrow if I clean that up.
Some skiers had a lot of issues with the jumps yesterday. The organizers adjusted the jumps so that the skiers felt safer today and could ski more aggressively. It wasn’t the height that was the problem, but the take-off which shaved off and is now flatter allowing for a smoother take-off and, more importantly, safer landing.

Max Franz (AUT), 3. with +0.12
My performance was fine today. During the race, I had the impression that the I wasn’t skiing that well on the upper part because I jumped too far in the Looping. After that, I am pleased with my run. I didn’t do Ciaslat as well as yesterday. I’m really looking forward to Saturday and I hope that I can combine my two training sessions. It is good that we could keep the Norwegians in check during the training runs. Now it’s time to buckle up and deliver.

Valentin Giraud Moine (FRA), 4. with +0.22
Today was a good run even though there are still things I have to work on. The slope is in great shape. I need to find a better solution on the top part to be faster. Training was the same as yesterday but racers put more intention and aggression into their runs the second time round. Overall nice race, lots of jumps, great slope. My favorite part is the Ciaslat because I’m a big fan of ski cross, it is a complicated track but a lot fun. Of all the Downhill race courses, the Saslong is my favorite along with Beaver Creek, Wengen and Kitzbühel. This is one of the two classic all-Downhills along with Wengen that follows the natural terrain of the mountain. I really like it and it always gives me a good feeling even if it can’t be easy to prepare. I’m better in Downhill than the Super-G, partly due to the training runs as I never do well on the first try. I hope to do well the next few days making as few mistakes as possible as this is a perfect run to be in a top position. My goal for this season is to finish in the top 15 and get on the podium when possible!

Otmar Striedinger (AUT), 5. with +0.31
Today, racers were a bit faster on their way and that made it hardly noticeable that parts of the course had suffered a little. I could put into practice today what I was hoping to do and that is a relief. Training runs were good, I feel great on my skis and I’m looking forward to the race.

Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR), 6. with +0.32
I like the new bib assignment rule as we used to be in a position where the best skiers were punished.  There is no other sport in the whole world where this happens. For example, it would be like holding back Mercedes, Ferrari and RedBull to start behind to make the race more exciting. Or if in a soccer World Championship they would put the best teams against each other so that it is exciting from the beginning. There is not other sport in the world where they keep the best competitors back to make to raise the level of excitement. So I like the new rules. I like the Saslong and find that Ciaslat is the hardest part.. I’m a little surprised myself that my comeback after my knee injury is so strong. I have a lot of experience and the last few weeks were great even with only a little training. Yesterday’s first training run I didn't ski perfectly but that’s how it is and today was better. I don’t have a true ski idol but look up to normal people who aren’t famous but nice and fair and treat other people with respect. That’s more like my kind of idol.

Adrien Theaux (FRA), 7. with +0.33
I don’t agree with the new bib number rules. What I’d like to see is that they first ten racers can get bib assignment based on lottery otherwise the best three can chose what they want. There are former athletes whose job is to represent us to the FIS to make our voices heard, but we don’t have a lot of power. I really like Val Gardena/Gröden. The course is beautiful and places like the Camel Humps, the Ciaslat are legendary in the ski world. I love coming back here even if the track is not best suited for my skills but I love to return every year even just for this panorama: the mountains are gorgeous, the track is fun. What characterizes this course is that you have to be a good glider because there are many flats and if you lose speed you can not recuperate it. You can’t make any mistakes. I think in general the French team is a good team not just in the Giant Slalom but also in other disciplines where we have strong young skiers and we try to maintain this high level on all fronts.

Erik Guay (CAN), 8. with +0.42
I love the Saslong, it has always been good to me and I want to return here every year. Our coach says that if you don’t have fun on this track you shouldn't be in the Downhill as this has everything a good race course needs.
Expectations for tomorrow are high as I have always done well here but yesterday’s training was a little disappointing. I think it could be anyone’s race tomorrow as today’s times were very tight. I guess we’ll see what happens tomorrow. I will do my best and hopefully it’ll go my way.

Peter Fill (ITA), 11. with +0.48
The conditions were very good again and i’m pleased with my run, even though there is still room for improvement in a few parts. I think the racers gave their all in the key sections. The Downhill race on Saturday will be interesting as everyone raced very closely together today. Some jumps were corrected after yesterday’s training but speeds were higher today so it didn’t really make any difference. The jumps are generally farther and you have to prepare for them well. It is normal that no one in Val Gardena/Gröden does a perfect run from top to bottom. You have to risk it all and hope that you don’t make any mistakes. I want to do a good race on my home track and know that a victory is difficult given the strong competition.

Werner Heel (ITA), 21. with +1.06
I am very pleased and I hope I can translate this performance in the race because that’s the only place it counts. The fact that I still reached such a good position given my start number 67 lifts my morale and makes me very confident. The jumps improved because they went a little further yesterday due to the small bumps. Today they were perfect. The Ciaslat is very demanding again this year. Due to the speed, it is difficult to push on the long skis in just the right places on the bumpy course.

Christoph Innerhofer (ITA), disqualified
I had a good feeling and was well on my way. I skipped the last two jumps to avoid any further risk of injury and to spare my knee. I am confident for tomorrow’s Super-G but I haven’t set any concrete goals. I just want to confirm the performance I showed in training. The new start number regulation has both advantages and disadvantages. It will be even more difficult to beat the best and to have surprises. In general, however, I agree with it because chance only plays a smaller role. Athletes found it hard to beat those competitors ranked right beside them in the World Cup rankings because they started with completely different start numbers.