Saturday, December 7, 2013

Patrick Kueng Wins SG in Beaver Creek

It was a day of full of surprises at the SG race on the Birds of Prey course in Beaver Creek. Switzerland’s Patrick Kueng zoomed down the course with bib 28 to steal the victory. Following in Kueng’s footsteps was Otmar Striedinger (AUT), who snatched second place with bib 45. Austria’s Hannes Reichelt and Italy’s Peter Fill could only watch in awe as they were bumped down to third place, sharing the honors after finishing 0.38 behind the late starters.
Kueng won the race by a 0.24 margin giving the Swiss their first podium finish in a men’s speed event since March 2012 when Beat Fuez won in Kvitfjell. It gives the traditional alpine nation its first glimmer of hope after a tough 2012/13 campaign.
When Kueng crossed the finish line, it sent a ripple of surprise through the crowd. The 29 year-old had never placed in the top three in the super-G and it was his first-ever win in any discipline in the Audi FIS World Cup. His only previous podiums were one second and one third place finish, both in downhill.
"It’s a really strong group of guys competing right now and it is not so easy to get on the podium so I am especially happy with today’s result", said Kueng.
More than 30 minutes later, Striedinger sent the second wave of shock through the stands when he came from out of nowhere to claim his first-ever podium finish at the World Cup level with an amazing late run to bump the field down a notch.
"I can’t believe it, this is a dream", said an emotional Striedinger after the race. "I said to myself at the start gate that I really had to push it and give it my all, but this second place finish is really unbelievable for me".
Reichelt and Fill shared third place and both earned a podium place for the second straight race after the duo took second and third in yesterday’s downhill.
For Fill, the last two days has been a change in fortune after he endured a four year podium drought. "I don’t know what it is", said Fill. "I don’t think it’s the course, to be honest it's not my favorite, but I know I really like the snow here".
Kueng’s win also killed Reichelt’s hopes of becoming the first man to win three SGs at Beaver Creek.

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