Sunday, December 7, 2014

Hannes Reichelt Wins Second SG of the Season in Beaver Creek

Challenging day at the Audi Birds of Prey Super G. The fast yet technical course set by Italian Gianluca Rulfi made it a real challenge for most skiers to cross the finish line without a mistake. And if the course proved simply too demanding to finish for 19 of the 69 racers who skied it, Hannes Reichelt, Kjetil Jansrud and Alexis Pinturault stood up to the challenge and clocked the fastest time of the day.
It’s no secret that Hannes Reichelt has a special bond with Beaver Creek, it was on the Birds of Prey that he earned his first career’s victory in 2005 and it’s were before today he collected a total of five podiums. Now he added to his impressive Beaver Creek resume with his third super G win on the course, but his first since 2007.
"I have good relationship with this course, especially in super G", a very happy Reichelt said. "I am always really happy to come back to Beaver Creek as I have lived some great moments here in the past and today I am just adding another great memory to the list", he added.
Reichelt took advantage of a good start number, 14, to get helpful course reports and the visual of a successful line provided by Dominik Paris, to ski an aggressive, attacking run.
"We saw something on the television and just a report after the compression that so many guys had mistakes. But I saw Paris Dominik and he did it really well, so I said, ‘OK, that line should be the nicest line and the best line,’ and I was trying it. That was really one step to my victory", said Reichelt of his line.
When asked about what made this slope so well suited to his skiing Reichelt explained: "I’m not sure but maybe it’s because it’s a really tough course, there are so many bumps and often you don’t see the next gate so you always have to ski with your brain and risk at the right spots".
Last January only days after winning the downhill in Kitzbuehel Reichelt had to undergo urgent back surgery and was forced to miss the Sochi Olympics, so coming back to the podium in Beaver Creek was a great opportunity to prepare for the next big event on the calendar.
"I am excited for the World Championships, today was a great step on my way to the February races as in out team it’s really hard to earn a spot in the team. Now I have more confidence I’ll be back in a few months".
Kjetil Jansrud’s winning streak ended today most likely due to a mistake he made coming over the Abyss, where he got thrown up in the air and off the line. And if it might have seemed as if he was disappointed by his second place, Jansrud was quick to explain the reason for his frustration slight frustration.
"When I crossed the finish line I saw I was in second place and I knew that without that mistake I could have had a winning run. I was only disappointed about my mistake after coming through the finish as I knew I messed up a little bit but I am happy with the result. Some days you win some days you don’t, that’s skiracing. The day you get disappointed about a second place is the day you turn into an arrogant guy and that’s not going to happen", Jansrud said.
Alexis Pinturault is known for his outstanding results in the technical disciplines but the young Frenchman makes no secret of his goals to further improve in the speed events and despite not having the preparation he wished for over summer, today he finished in third, just over half a second off the best time.
"We trained in Chile this summer for five days but they were not good days so I think today is the result of the work done last year and the years before. With the new material I had plans to train a lot more super G and downhill but conditions didn’t work in our favor", Pinturault said.
With 24 World Cup podiums under his name in all disciplines but downhill, it comes natural to wonder about what will be Pinturault’s focus in the future.
"I definitely don’t want to lose my Slalom", he explains. "I will try to stay focused on Slalom, Giant Slalom, super combined and Super G but I don’t have big plans for downhill just yet. Skiing downhill makes it a heavy schedule as you have to do both the trainings and race".

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