Werner Heel won the Val Gardena Super-G, which counts towards the World Cup. It's the first time since 2001 that an Italian skier has won this race in Italy. Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal retained his lead at the top of the overall standings.
AFP - Italy's Werner Heel won the men's super-G in Italy for his second career World Cup success.
Heel timed one minute 35.04 seconds to see off Switzerland's Didier Defago and Patrik Jaerbyn of Sweden by .43 and .45s respectively to add this to his victory in last year's opening downhill at Kvitfjell in Norway.
The 26-year-old made the most of perfect conditions to become the first Italian skier to prevail at the Saslong slope since 2001.
Super-G king Hermann Maier, in company with many of the favourites, failed to figure.
Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal retained his lead at the top of the overall World Cup standings on the strength of his wins in the downhill and super-G at Beaver Creek a fortnight ago.
"I was a little fortunate to start in front because after the sixth and seventh competitors the wind picked up.
"At the end I knew I hadn't made any mistakes but it was hard to know if that was enough to make the podium."
Defago said he'd felt at home on the slope.
"My two training runs had gone well and it was here that i won my first World Cup race, six years ago tomorrow (Saturday).
"For two or three years now Austria is no longer the dominant force in super-G. there's a mixture of countries, which is good for the sport."
Jaerbyn, at 39 the veteran of the race, added: "It makes me happy to beat my record of being the oldest skier at 39 to make a World Cup podium.
"I underwent knee surgery in September 2007 and didn't compete last season. This was my fifth race of the season but I won't be going to Bormio for the downhill (on December 28), instead returning to my place at Edwards near Beaver Creek in the United States to be with my wife and two children."
Date created : 2008-12-19