Walchhofer seals Austrian dominance with Super-G win
Michael Walchhofer has won the Val d'Isere men's World Cup Super-G. The 34-year-old Austrian is the reigning Olympic downhill silver medallist. His victory comes shortly after Austrian Benjamin Raich’s super-combined win.
AFP - Austria continued their domination of the World Cup events here when Michael Walchhofer overcame poor weather conditions to claim victory in the super-G on Saturday.
Veteran Walchhofer, who was following up his countryman Benjamin Raich's win on Friday, clocked 1min 20.78sec down the testing 1,770-metre-long course in overcast conditions with light flurries of snow.
Early leader Ligety was 0.28sec off the pace with Heel a further 0.47sec adrift, with only a further 10 racers within two seconds of Walchhofer's blistering run.
"It's a great surprise," admitted Walchhofer, the reigning Olympic downhill silver medallist who also claimed world downhill gold in 2003 and super-G silver in the 2005 worlds in Bormio.
"I made a big mistake and I knew I had to fight but I wasn't expecting to finish first. When I saw that I was in first spot it took me a few moments to get to grips with that."
It was only the second super-G win for the 34-year-old Walchhofer, whose last win on the World Cup circuit came almost one year ago in the Val Gardena downhill.
Walchhofer's Austrian team-mate Raich, winner of Friday's super-combined, finished fifth behind Italian Patrick Staudacher.
It was another disappointing outing, however, for Swiss star Carlo Janka, who again failed to live up to his triple cleansweep in Beaver Creek last weekend.
Janka, who bombed out of the slalom in Friday's super-combined, pushed it from the top but overcooked one turn and failed to regain his line.
"The light was very dark, I was too late and I went away from the slope and that was that," Janka lamented.
"It's disappointing that it's happened twice. I look forward to Sunday's giant slalom and hope I can get a better result than today."
Janka was not, unsurprisingly, the only racer who failed to complete the course down the Face de Bellevarde, with a host of others not finishing in extremely tricky conditions.
"You can't see anything, you can't see the contours and it's very bumpy up there - it's not so easy," Janka said.